Sabbath Prayers: The Road Ahead.

by Chris Kamalski

I identify strongly with Thomas Merton’s heart in this prayer entitled “The Road Ahead” this evening.  

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, 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)

Sometimes this is my heart more frequently than I’d ever wish to admit.  C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that he ‘woke up each morning a practical atheist,’ and that there was a momentary split second where he would choose to will his heart either toward or away from God that day.  I feel that tension in my life all too often, and frankly, live far too many moments willingly apart from the Christ who dwells within me.

And yet Merton’s words bring comfort, for in some mysterious way, even as I ‘live apart’ from Christ, Christ lives this ‘with me’ in some manner.  This is quite possibly what grace experientially feels like…