Washington State Legislature – Opening Devotions

March 31, 2017

I’m grateful to be here today to open this session with a brief meditation. And, as we enter into this time of reflection I ask you also to open your hearts and minds in prayer also for all governmental leaders at the local, state and national level.

Each week in my congregation we begin our worship time by taking a few deep and cleansing breaths. I invite you to do that now.

Focusing on the breath we remember with gratitude … the source and the sustainer of all life … and the wonder of our shared being.

Today, gathered here, we will not hear the rush of waves breaking or the gulls crying overhead along Washington’s untamed coastlines. We will not feel the bracing winds swirling through the majestic mountain passes. We will not smell the musty earthy smell of fields and vineyards, orchards and flower beds ready and beginning to blossom and sprout forth in new life. We will not see the soaring Seattle skyline, the bald grandeur of Steptoe Butte, the panoramic views of farmlands, or the lush green canopy of the Hoh Rain Forest. We will not taste the salt spray, salmon, cedar, glacial, stone, desert scented air of this state we love.

Instead, today we will answer what seems like a never ending stream of text messages, emails and phone calls. We will survey stacks of documents and communications from constituents. We will hustle down hallways from one meeting to the next, sit inordinately long durations of time in uncomfortable chairs, and attend – as best we can – to the important business before us. We will write and re-write, think and re-think, negotiate and renegotiate, make decisions … and hope against hope … that they are the right ones … the faithful ones … the ones that will truly serve well the people of this great state.

By the end of the day, we will be exhausted, emptied, drained … having given well beyond 100% of our capacity. We’ll retreat to private spaces well aware of the sacrifice of public service.

We’ll remember … then … more than ever … the people back home, families, friends, neighbors, supporters and yes … even opponents … those people for whom we make the sacrifice of public service.

Make us mindful, Divine Spirit of Creation and Being, throughout this day … that the sacrifice is worth it. Help us see … through the frustrations and pitfalls … the value and the importance of this work we do.

 Help us work diligently and thoughtfully … with a mind for justice and truth … throughout the day … so that when night comes and the stars of heaven begin to shine we will hear in our hearts the sweetest of all benedictions:

“Well done, good and faithful public servant.”