I first discovered this prayer by Thomas Merton sometime in college. It quickly became my favorite prayer.
Probably because it starts with a feeling I have had often… the feeling of having absolutely no idea what I am doing or where I am going.
That was true in college, but it feels even more true now.
As an adult I make a dozen decisions everyday, some for myself and so many for other people. And the decisions seem to come so fast – some split second before I can give them adequate thought.
And none of them ever seem perfectly right even if I’ve followed a prescribed discernment process all the way through.
But how can a decision ever be perfectly right?
I mean really.
I’m only human and I know I’ll never have all the information I need. I’ll never know all the angles.
So I have to remind myself that there is a part of every discernment, every decision made that relies on faith.
There’s a point in time where I have to say “Here’s what I am thinking, God. I need you to take me the rest of the way through.”
And trust that God will.
That’s why I love this prayer so much.
It reminds me of God’s desires for me – to be happy, to be loved, to move closer to who God created me to be.
It reminds me I’m not alone.
“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