Monday, June 3, 2013

Revisiting a Favorite Prayer

I wish with all my heart that I could visit The Grotto at Notre Dame right now. I know that for many students and alumni it is a very special place. I've been there (though not enough times) when it was snowing, raining, hot and humid or just perfect.  Regardless of the external temperature, it brings peace and closeness with God.  Of all the places, I'd love to visit right now - The Grotto is at the top of the list.

On September 5, 2010 I was feeling lost and I posted one of my favorite prayers by Thomas Merton. It seems that I find myself in a similar situation, so I am revisiting this favorite with the hope that it helps me find direction, peace and purpose.

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 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"

When I read the line "in the shadow of death," I feel guilty for being so lost.  I am nowhere near the shadow of death.  In fact, I have friends and family that love me.  It was my choice to leave my job to pursue bike racing. And yet, I feel lost.  I remind myself that just as people feel different levels of pain, we can also feel despair and hopeless in different levels of life.  

A friend wrote to me and suggested that I enjoy the difficult path.  Not sure how I feel about that, but we all know that I do LOVE to learn things the hard way (if that's the same thing). We grow in fortitude and internally through the process.   Being OK with not being OK seems to be something with which I struggle frequently.

I pray, wholeheartedly, that the Lord helps me find my way back to a path of being useful for His plan for me and that I can be fulfilled again.