Sunday, May 29, 2005

Death of an Appliance - Reflections on Stress and Prayer

My week started and ended the same way - with the death of an appliance.

It started Monday morning. In the middle of drying my hair, with a half wet head, the motor on my hair dryer sped up, let out a high pitch whine and quit with the odorous aroma of burnt wiring.

It ended Friday evening. Wanting a second cup of tea, I flicked the switch on the electric kettle. Nothing happened. The very kettle that had just made a boiling cup of tea not more than half an hour previous could not even muster up a semi-boil. It had just enough energy to operate the "on" light and that was all.

Now the hair dryer's death I could understand. It had lived a long life and served its master well. But the kettle? It was barely a year old, it had hardly even begun to make tea! Sigh - so young to pass on.

My appliances are an odd parody of how I've been feeling lately. A little worn out, a little ready to give up. Sometimes my motor's running on a high whine and I think I catch a whiff of burnt wiring as I'm running out the door. At other times, I simply refuse to start up. The light's on, but I'm not boiling!

Good old stress has caught up to me. I become angry, resentful, and withdrawn. It was during this withdrawn, melancholy time, looking for words of comfort from scripture, that I was perusing The Book of Common Prayer, and came across this prayer for Eventide:

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All the day long of this troublous life - that one phrase says it all. The writer of this prayer understood stress. And reminds me in whose peace I rest.

May the Lord grant you safe lodging, a holy rest and peace.

@2005 Eveline Maedel - All rights reserved
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this posting of yours! I also seen the death of "things" around my house lately...dishwasher, phone and hair dryer too! I love the way you write!