Tuesday, April 5, 2022

I bind unto myself this day

Welcome to Spiritual Journey Thursday. Today I'm delighted to host this group of spiritual pilgrims. The focus this month is to consider what we bind ourselves to in our spiritual journeys. 

Although this prompt was my idea, I found it to be a challenge. I listed a number of ideas, but couldn't find the key to writing about them. Finally I settled on this: I bind myself to prayers for truth. Then I remembered a story... 

It was early spring, quite a number of years ago, when I put a display of seeds on the science table in my classroom of 4-year-olds: mustard seeds, orange seeds, beans, peas, the outer shell of a coconut, pinecones, and some cattails. We would explore the various seeds and talk about them. I announced at our morning meeting..."There are seeds on the science table. See if you can tell what kinds they are. Look for the coconut shell and the cattail." 

When the meeting ended, we dispersed to various activities throughout the room.

Quite soon, I was confronted by a boy with a serious, almost angry, look on his face. He thrust the cattail toward me and demanded, "Is THIS from a real cat?"

I caught my breath! Oh no! Yes, his question was funny, but I knew I dared not smile. His face told me I was in serious trouble, and I had to respect his strong emotion. I realized I could do nothing but offer apology after apology, followed by one explanation and another. And, it took quite a few of both before I finally regained his trust. 

I remember being both embarrassed and amused, but also, I felt considerable respect for him that day.  At the tender age of four, he had resolutely confronted me and conducted a serious search for truth. 

I hope he continues that practice today.

A classroom memory...

The search for truth is a vital discipline, and I find it a hard job in our world. In many instances we can't actually know the truth, so where do we put our trust? How can we make decisions?  At times I have trusted something or someone that was not trustworthy. Or I made a false assumption because it was convenient. Without a doubt there is plenty of work ahead of me as I continue to pray toward truth and discernment. 

I join you all in prayers for peace in all interactions of life: within families, work environments, social arenas, politics, and between nations. You and I know of war and rumors of war in the world in many places. I pray that we might be agents of reconciliation. I bind unto myself a prayer for peace.

I tried some verses to express further thoughts...

I bind unto myself today
the cardinal's cheer
that greets the dawn
the patient wren
upon its nest
the yellow shaft of
flicker's plume

I bind unto myself today
all those who suffer
near or far
who need a cure or
home or food
I offer up for them
my prayer

I bind unto myself today
the power of words 
to foster peace
the strength of words
to counsel, claim
to comfort 
and to teach

I bind unto myself today
the treasures of the psalms
Create in me a heart
Oh Lord
to walk your path
to know your calm

© Karen Eastlund

Feel free to join this group in your own Spiritual Journey. Please just post your link in the comments and I'll watch as I can throughout the day and round up your links the old fashioned way. 

Blessings to all in this beautiful season of renewal. 

Linda Mitchell writes of trust at https://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

Carol Varsalona shares poetic thoughts at https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/

Margaret Simon posts of feeling unbound at https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2022/04/07/spiritual-thursday-i-come-unbound/

Ramona remembers hymns at https://pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com/2022/04/sjt-and-poetry-friday-words-of-hymns-to.html

Chris Margocs has an interesting insight at https://horizon51.blogspot.com/2022/04/spiritual-journey-thursday-i-bind-myself.html?showComment=1649424114907#c5039914797518346336

Denise shared her favorite words from the hymn I Bind Unto Myself Today:  https://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/2022/04/07/spiritual-journey-thursday-i-bind-unto-myself/comment-page-1/#comment-4041

Ruth sends a poem of her current dreams at There's No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town


  1. Karen, first: Thank you for this incredibly beautiful prompt taken from Celtic prayers and the Hymn of St. Patrick. I loved it from the moment you shared it, back in March. You're right: it is challenging. In my case it's a matter of narrowing all the things I am grateful for or in awe of... I managed to do it when the "feeling" of a given form materialized (pantoum). Love how you began with birds; I write of them often, for they have the gift of flight and song, and so lift my spirit. The wren (Carolina wren, here where I live) sings with its head thrown to the sky in a magnificently loud doxology. The bright and glorious cardinal is a symbol for Christ. You pray here for others, for peace and wisdom for yourself, for that clean heart... every stanza powerful in its simple expression of gratitude, comfort, praise, and trust. I bind unto myself all of these today - and every day. Thank you for this blessing.

    My offering: https://litbitsandpieces.com/2022/04/06/i-bind-unto-myself/

  2. Karen, what a beautiful prompt. I too find it challenging...but in a good way. The prayer is beautiful and takes me to a place of sacredness. I love that you taught four year olds. It's such an important and precious time and not for the faint of heart. Thank you for hosting this month.

  3. Good Morning! I'm having formatting issues at my blog. Boooo! But, the words are there even if it looks like the entire post (and yesterday's) is a caption. Someday, I'll figure out how to fix this. https://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

  4. Karen, your post is calming and full of peace. While this topic was challenging, you certainly provided us with soul-searching thoughts on this dismal, dark day. The clouds, rain, and darkness do not deter us from the solemness of this call to bind ourselves today. In faith, I look forward to reading everyone's posts.

  5. Karen, I love that story of the young boy and his misunderstanding. The verses you wrote are lovely. I'm especially attracted to the first stanza and the enchanting birds. I didn't think I could write today. But I decided that it would be ok, it would be enough, for me to write about how I feel today. For what it's worth, here it is: https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2022/04/07/spiritual-thursday-i-come-unbound/

  6. Karen, I love your poem. It expresses and encapsulates so much truth and beauty and hope. I love all the stanzas, but especially the third stanza. Thanks for being our host today. My post is up -

  7. Thank you for this beautiful reflection, Karen! I am particularly touched and smitten by the story of your four year old student (perhaps I am partial, because I, too, taught young children and was often awed by their insights). I loved your respectful, caring thinking here - "he had resolutely confronted me and conducted a serious search for truth." What a blessing that you were his teacher!

    I do not have a post of my own to offer yet - I apologize! I am moved by this inspiration; I hope to offer something soon. Thank you for today's post!

    1. Maureen: No need to apologize. We post IF we can. No stress. Best to you...

  8. I appreciate the prompt, Karen, though I may have interpreted it a bit more tangentially. The Lorica of St Patrick has long been a favorite prayer of mine. While searching for inspiration for my post, I remembered a hand-calligraphed copy of "The Deer's Cry" purchased a very long time ago, still stored at my desk. I pulled out one of the final stanzas to wrap up my thoughts. https://horizon51.blogspot.com/2022/04/spiritual-journey-thursday-i-bind-myself.html

  9. Thank you, Karen, for your beautiful subject for today, and this warm post. I love the story you shared about that four-year-old seeker of truth. So precious! I'm praying your prayer today:

    "Create in me a heart
    Oh Lord
    to walk your path
    to know your calm"

    My short post is here, but I didn't want to miss: https://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/2022/04/07/spiritual-journey-thursday-i-bind-unto-myself/

  10. Here I am, back with a post - and a poem.
    Karen, thank you, again, for your beautiful reflections and poetry.


  11. Thank you for this wonderful prompt! I am so late this month, but I did finally write something: https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2022/04/spiritual-journey-thursday-except-on.html

  12. And your post is beautiful!