This prayer by Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne is one which often plays on my mind. He is a saint renowned for ‘cultivating peace and love, purity and humility’, and that opening line is definite food for thought.
I have lived on my own for 3 years and have grown to really love the solitude and freedom that it gives me. However, I often waste time as I’m sure everyone does. I give myself excuses for why I can’t do certain things or why I will do them later than I should…probably a common confession. But I wonder if there’s a link between the opening line of his prayer, ‘leave me alone with God as much as may be…’ and his qualities.
When you’re on your own it’s easy to think that you can do what you want because no one’s watching. I am sure that if the Jesus of biblical times came to stay with me, I would use my time in a very different way! I would keep my house as clean as possible, I would spend as much time with him as I could and I would consider his teachings much more often than I currently do. I would also try to be peaceful, act lovingly towards both other people and animals, and I would try to live with purity and humility as Aidan is believed to have done.
Why would I do this with Jesus and not with others? If Jesus feels the least thing that we do for or another, then isn’t that the same thing? But it’s an awful lot harder to remain peaceful around people who you find challenging, or to act out of love towards someone who pushes all your buttons! Maybe by being left alone with God we are given the chance to develop these qualities which we can then put into practice with others.
Who knows? But it’s a good prompt for me to start trying to use my time more efficiently at home!