The morning takes time. Time to wake up, to make the coffee, to wrap my head around what needs to be done. On the way to school I pray for peace and most of all I pray for patience because that’s the only way to get through a day with middle school children.

I arrive at 7:31, but by the time my lunch is in the fridge in the teachers lounge, e-mail is pulled up on my computer, and everything is settled, it’s 7:43. I’m counting the minutes now because I know I have exactly 15 of them until I’m facing a room of sixth graders whose noise level is always too loud for this time of day. I breathe more prayers for calm. I drink my coffee because I’m fairly certain that this is one of the ways God answers my prayers.

Music helps. Maybe one day I’ll get tired of the same 10 songs I end up playing over and over each morning, but I don’t see that day coming until the last exam is over. So I listen to Come Thou Fount, and I hear the new words added to the ones I already cling to:

Prone to wander, prone to wander
Prone to wander, prone to wander
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Prone to hear you and not heed it
Prone to scorn you in your love

I listen and I know. I know that the noise of the day will distract me. I know I will be impatient. I know I will wander.

The clock hits 7:58. I close my eyes and pray through one more sip of coffee. Take my heart today Lord, and hold it against the wandering and the noise and the impatience. Fill it with grace and wisdom and words that are right for each moment. Oh, and thank you for the coffee. Amen.


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