Another does of wisdom for the coming New Year.
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 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.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Thoughts in Solitude
I suppose I will be resurrecting this blog. Call it a New Year’s resolution.
As I am facing a New Year (and a major move in my life) I’ve needed the sort of wisdom articulated below by René Castellano. Life has been in flux and great uncertainty in life has been the theme of the last half year of my life. A new pastoral position, moving to a new city across the country, and all my perceived plans having to fall to the ground and die… But that is a good place to meet the Lord and follow him wherever he leads. Though he seldom (never?) shows the destination. Following a known God down an unknown path.
God only illumines the next step, not long distances ahead. We would prefer God to illumine the way for a long distance ahead, but the flickering light of the Word shows only the next step. God called Abram, “Leave Ur. I will then tell you where you are going.” To Paul the Spirit said, “Go to Macedonia. I will tell you there what next.” The risen Lord said to His disciples, “Go to Galilee. You will find me there.” It is humbling for the pilgrim to not know what is over the hill, to have no more foreknowledge than the next person. But this is a part of our spiritual growth: to take small steps without knowing what is ahead but trusting God to bring good out of evil.
René Castellano (1914-2011), Cuban theologian
via Thomas Oden’s memoir A Change of Heart