My mother loved to laugh. And sometimes her humor included mischievous and subtle teasing. On one of my visits to Mother after she had moved to Provisions Living, she asked me to type some Scripture references and the words of “A Personal Prayer” from a newspaper clipping for her in big type that she could easily read.
When I was back at home after our visit, I typed the Scripture references first. I posted about those references here.
As I typed the words from the yellowed and worn clipping, it dawned on me that she was giving me a sly little Annette Carpenter nudge about the changes that aging was bringing to my behavior.
I also posted that prayer. But I am posting it here again as one of the memories of my mother that Bob Jones shared in the eulogy he delivered during her funeral service. Bob is seniors minister at Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. Main Street was Mother’s church and the church I grew up in. And Bob was a long-time family friend and neighbor.
Here are the words from that clipping. There was no author or date on it. And I still need to be praying for divine help in correcting these bad habits!
A Personal Prayer
Lord, you know I am growing older. Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject. Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.
Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me strength to get to the point.
Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the passing of years, and the love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Make me thoughtful, but not nosy. Helpful, but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom and experiences, it does seem a pity not to use it at all. But you know, Lord, that I do want a few friends in the end.