Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thomas Merton - I Have No Idea Where I Am Going

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 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

There are so many moments in life and ministry where Merton's opening phrase rings true. I have no idea where I am going. It isn't that I'm walking haphazardly, lacking a plan or orientation. I've got plenty of plans and goals and purposes and commissions that are pointing me in a common direction. Yet when I'm honest with myself, I don't really know what the future actually holds.

  • I don't know if I'll be at the same church in five years. Or three years. Or even one!
  • I don't know if the awesome volunteers I have will be here in six months.
  • I don't know if the student I've poured years of my life into will continue to follow Jesus after leaving my ministry.
  • I don't know if my children will put their faith in Christ.
  • I don't know if I'll live to see tomorrow.

I pray and assume the success of all these plans, but I have to have realistic expectations: the plans aren't certainties. Yet I trust that my desire to please Jesus might actually please Him, that He is guiding me in right paths and has everything in control, that He'll never leave nor forsake me, and that His kingdom is certainly coming. So I'll continue to trust Him, because He's with me. That is enough to keep me walking down the path into the unknown.

1 comment:

  1. With a senior in high school deciding what to do/where to go next year & a recent college graduate trying to figure out what path to follow, this post was exactly what the Lucas family needed to hear. Thanks for sharing : )