I was listening to a sermon online this week, and the pastor used the "prayer" below as an icebreaker sort of illustration. I got such a kick out of it, I had to find the text. A quick Google search turned up a number of copies, so chances are you've already seen it, but just in case you haven't - you should.
I seriously doubt the anonymous author was really a nun from the 17th century, as the title indicates, but whoever penned the poem has a pretty good sense of the humor.
17th Century Nun's Prayer
Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful, but not moody: helpful, but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all,
but thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the endless recital of details;
give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is
becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains,
But help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally, I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet;
I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with –
but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places,
and talents in unexpected people.
And give me, oh Lord, the grace to tell them so.
It's great to be a homeschooler.