“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”
This is seriously one of my favorite prayers I’ve ever come across. I think it’s beautiful and I relate to it in so many ways. Especially now that I have finished all of my graduation requirements and am just counting down the days until I have my diploma in hand and begin my career. Not that I have a clue what that will be. “I do not see the road ahead of me,” Merton says, and I agree. I doubt I would understand the road ahead of me even if God gave me a sneak peek of it. Rarely do I look around at my life and circumstances and think to myself, “OH! THAT’S what God is doing!” Instead, I ask question after question instead of being still and acknowledging that my lack of knowledge is sufficient because I do not need to know the answers. I’m only hurting myself in my tireless pursuit of the all encompassing knowledge that no human possesses. And even after something happens, I still don’t always have the 20/20 vision that they say hindsight brings. Often I’m still asking why did this and that happen, too stubborn to stop asking and start listening.
Be still and know that I am God. Well, God, I don’t know how to be still but I think I am trying. I want nothing more than to learn to trust God. I think that will be my greatest accomplishment in life if I can learn that. My greatest accomplishment will be loss of myself and life in him; trusting him fully for my every need.
“I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”