Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed… For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
To delight in something (or someone) is to take great pleasure and happiness from its mere existence; to be thrilled just knowing that it IS! It is that “delightful” state of discernment that someone precious to you is truly near, even if present “just” in thought or prayer; or that something dear to you is truly real, even if not fully understood.
To delight is to have the thought of that person or certain something be enough to bring you a quiet smile, if not make you downright giddy and gleeful. It is, I think, close to what Jesus had in mind when he talked of the Kingdom of God…a woman cleaning out her entire house to find — and finding! — a lost coin; a landowner who buys an entire field to find — and finding! — a great treasure hidden there.
The General Confession calls us not simply to do our Creator’s will, but to delight in it.
I wish I could do that — to “delight” in something as illusive and mysterious and amorphous as “Your Will.” But I confess that’s just hard for me. That’s especially true when I’m thinking that God is “willing” me down certain UNcertain paths that I just don’t want to go down. It’s a tough calling.
But there it is, right there in our exquisitely lovely liturgy, pretty much every Sunday.
Writer Anne Lamott visited out parish recently. She meanders a good bit in both her writing and her lecturing, but there are precious gems for those willing to be surprised by Serendipity. One of her side comments passed me by at first, and then had me scrambling for something to write with, so I could capture this one (of her many) keen insights into our human condition: ‘THERE CAN BE MEANING WITHOUT THINGS MAKING SENSE.”
And maybe that’s the point of that sublime last sentence of our poignant prayer of General Confession. It is NOT mandatory that we know or understand or even do “Your Will” in order to delight in it. Just to simply trust that it (whatever It is) exists, and that It leads us and protects us and heals us and nudges us forward and most of all loves us beyond all our feeble faith to understand…
That, on my better days, is sheer delight.