For every one thing we do, ten thousand things are left undone. While one pursuit rejoices in our attention, ten thousand tiny voices cry out in anger and anguish for us to hurry to them, for us to reassess our priorities in their favor, for us to be their servants. Who can serve ten thousand would-be masters whining and scratching at our back doors wanting in to be fed? One voice reaches our ears. Love floats in on a breeze and beckons us forward. Sunshine glows on the path before us. Our hearts rise up, sing, and follow.

Photo of an abandoned passenger railcar along a canal south of New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Photo and prayer copyright 2019 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Hugh wrote:
Thanks! We do need to quiet the monkey mind.

Kay wrote:
Just the message I needed today. Family is flying in from across the country and [my] clients are "banging" on their desks for work (usually a good thing) and I was feeling overwhelmed until I read your prayer. I will focus and repeat "Love floats in on a breeze and beckons us forward. Sunshine glows on the path before us. Our hearts rise up, sing, and follow."

Shari wrote:
Wow, Danny. This really hit a chord with me from when I visited Bulgaria. Here's a picture of a Gypsy car in the woods. [See below.]

Theresa wrote:
Danny, you always manage to find beauty with the darnedest of situations… and, in the darnedest of places!

J. Brent Bill wrote:
Just a quick note to say thank you for these. I find them meaningful and helpful. I love your coupling of spirituality and photography (something I try to do, as well).

Francis wrote:
Great prayer (and photo), Danny. Thank you.

Kathy wrote:
This is beautiful. I love the photo and the reflective writing.

Rosemary wrote:
Your Photo Prayer today was so beautiful. I know that my brother enjoys them too.

Craig wrote:
Really like the composition here, beckons you into it, to walk thru mud to get to the "pay off", a brilliantly painted bauble… I recently read a definition of "true religion": the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern..... I guess the "one voice" would be the ultimate concern....

Cookie wrote:
That train car must have some really cool ghosts. It is a thing left undone, why not have 10,000 voices drifting in and out of it. Was yours one?

The question “What Shall We Do?” is an old one. The crowd in Acts 2:37-40 asks it. Tolstoy asks, “What Then Must We Do?”, a question echoed in the fine movie, “The Year of Living Dangerously”. The question is also asked, in a way, in the sea shanty, “What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?”
I often ask myself “What shall I do” and often get caught up in a morass of questions about duty, about what I ought to do, depressing stuff! Prayer, responding to love, should not be depressing! So in writing this prayer, I went to the source, the single source that quiets the ten thousand tiny shrill voices that clamour for our time and attention, the Holy Spirit. Why ten thousand voices? No, I did not count them. Ten thousand is the number used by Lao Tsu in his book "Tao Te Ching" to describe the number of things that distract us from the ultimate source. I love the 1972 translation and photos by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.
Finally, I was delighted to get an email out of the blue from J. Brent Bill, a Quaker author. I look forward to reading his book, "Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace."
Below is Shari's photo of a Bulgarian caravan.

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