We all seem to have periods in our life when we just throw up our hands and ask ourselves,”where am I going?” ( I am choosing to repost this write up from last year, because this is one of those times in my life. I feel I am allowed myself to wonder from my own intention in starting Soul Intentions and will seek to refocus. I am a lover of Merton’s compassion and comtemplative nature and am certain anyone who reads his work will come away feeling peace.) If you are like me you add to that question, “why did I do that?”or “what was I thinking?” These times are usually at a turning point in our life generally at a time of loss, could be in a death, divorce or when our ego can no longer sustain or supply what our heart is crying out for. And though we never thought our original plan would have ended this way it did end; maybe that is the key right there, our original plan, we placed our faith and our lives in a plan of our own design.
Thomas Merton knew this feeling all to well as he sought out his own place in a universe of questions with few answers. In reading his prayer you will find that he surrendered unconditionally not only to his God, but unconditionally to his own humanness “Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.”
In my own humanness I have to continually come back to prayers like Merton’s to allow my soul to reground itself in life’s greater purpose – surrendering my purpose to ONE who knows where I am going.
Thomas Merton’s Prayer
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 that 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 will I 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”