Monday, March 24, 2014


Thomas Merton in Thoughts in Solitude put it this way:

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.”

Adam and Eve didn't know where they were going when they were banished from the Garden of Eden. Neither did Noah when the rain stopped and he and his family stepped off the ark. Nor did Abraham when God called him to leave the familiar and set off in an unknown direction. Fast forward to the magi who trekked across desert and wilderness to follow a star to parts unknown. And Joseph escaping a mad tyrant's wrath fled by night to an unfamiliar country with Mary and the child Jesus. The fishermen and the tax collector left everything for the unknown when Jesus invited simply, “Follow Me.”

At any season of our lives we remain uncertain of the destination of the myriad roads ahead. In our youth full of dreams we could never imagine where the road of life will lead. In mature mid-life the signposts still point in many uncharted directions. In our vintage years we try to peer through the growing darkness to see what is beyond this mortal life. Our lives are spent trying to peer through the fog to see where the road ahead will take us.

For the forever-child of God it is always a matter of faith without sight. No map, no compass, no GPS. Nevertheless, it is not a blind trust, but a certainty in the Person of Christ and His plan for good for our lives as He unfolds it. We must set our cruise control in the direction of The Somewhere which God has destined for each of us. There could be no safer road than to be “Abandoned to Divine Providence.” I have expressed it this way:


How can I follow The Road
without knowing where it leads?

It narrows at the crest of the hill
and I can't see beyond
to The Other Side.
It seems to lead Somewhere
unfamiliar to me.

The ruts look deep
as if Someone has dragged
a heavy wooden object
slowly up The Road.

Since I must travel The Road
I'd feel much better
if I could follow someone.

Now I dimly see
Someone ahead of me
standing at the crest of the hill
arms outstretched.
He can see The Other Side
from His vantage point.

He beckons,
“Follow Me!”

Now I can follow The Road
without a fear!
I don't need to know
where it leads
as long as He knows.
He has gone That Way
and has already seen
The Somewhere
and that's enough for me!

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