"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
Thomas Merton–Thoughts in Solitude
A few years ago I read Thomas Merton’s Thought’s in Solitude. It is a great book. If you are looking for something to read during lent, this would be a good choice. I looked back for this quotes of his tonight. I have been feeling a like the words that are here expressed. There have been times in the last few days where I really feel like I have no idea where I am going. There are days that one feels this way. I take solace in the knowledge that such a great and spiritual man as Merton also was able to say that he was uncertain as to where he was going. The one thing Merton as certain about was his desire to please God. Merton felt safe in his desire to love and to serve God. I can relate in the very complex and face paced times that we live in. I was shocked to look up last week and see that this week would be the beginning of Lent. Tomorrow is the last day before lent – known s Shrove Tuesday. [It is Pancake day and again, at St. Mark’s we will gather to eat. Our Pancake Dinner is from 4-7:30 PM SEE YOU THERE]. Each day I pray that God will give e direction, and most of all that God will rescue me from despair and fear. I say this knowing that there are plenty o people in the wider church who are functioning daily in fear. I agree with Merton. God will “…lead me by the right road.” God will do so even when I am unsure that it is happening. Merton’s words remind me that I am not alone.
Where are you tonight? Do you feel that you are facing unbelievable peril? Are you unsure if you are on the right trail? Do you feel a strong desire for God’s leading? Do you feel that you want to act with God’s direction? If so I say to you as I remind myself, read Thomas Merton and [I] take heart. We do not face our peril alone. We do not have to know which direction is right all of the time. We do not have to succumb to despair if we have made the wrong choice? We do not need to feel abandoned if we are disappointed by world around us. God is in the midst of all of it. I pray that we might all have the faith of Thomas Merton to realize God’s presence and because of that faith have the ability to respond to that which brings us down a peg with mature faith and a strong desire to trust in God’s grace.
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