The road ahead

Betty and I have been involved in a discernment process about the next chapter of our lives for far too long.  It’s been a humbling, trying process and I’m ready for it to be done.  Earlier today I read this quote from Thomas Merton that echoed the messy mix in my soul, of head and heart, desire and reason, confusion and conviction, ending in a hard-learned trust in God’s goodness.

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 am following your will does not mean 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 everything 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.

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  1. #1 by martincontant on November 7, 2011 - 10:40 pm

    Phil, a very fitting prayer, not only for your own journey, but for me and all of us who think we have it figured out, and really don’t. A journey is not only about arriving at the destination but paying attention to the road that gets us there, and the seeming interruptions along the way–God’s way of making us aware of his presence on the road. Blessings as you discern which fork in the road you need to take. Martin

  2. #2 by Rachel Gilmore on November 8, 2011 - 4:57 am

    You and Betty have been in my prayers since we met, and I continue to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance so that you know where it is God wants you, needs you, to serve.

    This message is from the Lord. “I am God, and I am always near. I am not far away.” (Jeremiah 23:23, ERV)

    That verse was my verse of the day today, and those words, along with the meditation below, made me think of you after I read your post:

    No matter where you go, God is already there, waiting to walk beside you. How has it comforted you in the past to know that God was with you in strange places?

    May the Lord bless you and keep you and your family, Phil. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you and Betty his peace in this decision. (Numbers 6:24-26). Amen. Let it be.

    • #3 by phil on November 8, 2011 - 6:04 am

      Thanks very much Rachel! Much appreciated.

  3. #4 by Sheila Krygsheld on November 8, 2011 - 8:21 am

    On several occasions in my life I remember saying to God that I could not fathom where He was taking me and why the road was so incredibly unclear. To wistfully look at the everyday things and want to remain there was completely understandable yet very human. When those everyday times are jeopardized by the unknown, life flurries into a swirlling tornado. The first response was to try to capture those things and try to hold them close. One knows that the odds of them returning to the exact position as before is insane. A part in your quote said, “I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.” It strikes to the core what He most wants. Once the tornado whisks away to another place, the new position of old comforts brings sweet memory of the past and wonder of the great future held in the hands of the One controlling life. Oh, we are praying for you. There’s power there…

    • #5 by phil on November 8, 2011 - 10:04 pm

      And many thanks for your prayers Sheila.

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