A Thanksgiving Prayer for Oneself
BY FR. DENNET JUNG, OFM
Lord God, thank you for making me who I am.
This is difficult for me to say because so often I have wanted to be someone else. I didn’t like the way I was built, the bodily features you gave me, the mental and emotional strengths you provided for me. I wanted to look like the popular person down the street, the attractive person everyone looked up to. I wanted to have the financial resources to dress fashionably and to have the time and means to travel to distant destinations at will. And yes, I wanted the popularity that gave me the assurance of my goodness and worth.
But here I am, as I am, the person you made me to be and become. Despite my many feelings of envy and disappointment with what you made me to be, I am grateful for who I am. Thank you, Lord. You know better than I that for which I am destined in your overall plan for your world. I want to be somebody great, influential, recognized and well-regarded. You also want that for me, but not in the way that I would have devised or decided.
Sometimes, I feel unneeded, unwanted, unappealing, and unappreciated. But, I believe, Lord, that these feelings are just my delusions and selfish desires emanating from my false self, the self I imagine I should be, a self that is not of your making but one of my making. You made me, Lord, as you desire, not for my personal glory, but for the good of all your people.
I have gifts, not the gifts I desire, but the gifts you want for me so that I can help complete your world and in some way reveal your goodness. I have personality traits that will attract some and aggravate others, just like all the other creatures you have made. Thank you, Lord for making me as I am and help me to become the best I can be with what you have given me. I may never be completely satisfied with what I have been given or with what I have accomplished. But I know that all I have received and all that I have accomplished is gift from you to me. Of myself I can do nothing, but with you all things are possible, and as I continue to live and learn and grow in your wisdom, you help me become the best I need to be. That’s all you ask of me, Lord, and that is all I need to expect of myself.
Here I am for you, Lord, as you are here for me. Help me to see and experience your goodness in my life and give me the willingness to share that goodness with all those you send into my life.
Thank you, Lord, for making me who I am!
(Fr. Dennet is the Interim Pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Southfield, MI)