Obedience a ‘la Thomas Merton
I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m tired; sitting in front of my computer screen debating whether I have anything important or profound to say… perhaps not. I know since my resolve to pray, read my devotions and study my Bible no matter how I feel, it’s been more difficult on some days than others. Today is one of those days. I skim over my daily devotional, perfunctorily read a few Psalms and say a brief prayer. It’s supposed to rain, the sky is gloomy and I’d rather be reading my Emails and checking Google news than writing.
I am changing to believe that being in God’s presence doesn’t have anything to do with how I feel rather, it’s the honest attempt to do so that counts. I used to have a neat formula about communing with God that if I prayed and studied about God until I felt peaceful and “connected” I had assurance my prayers were good enough. Some days I connect right away. Today, my body is telling me to go back to bed for another hour and perhaps then I’ll be able to pray correctly and give God my full attention. I know I can’t afford the luxury of more nap time this morning but, I’ve been obedient and I believe that’s what really matters. In the past I would allow myself to be distracted by Emails and Facebook, convinced that my prayers would have been worthless anyway. Thank God I’m seeing things in a new light.
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 my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that 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 (1915-1968)