I am a big fan of letters. It is a lot of fun to share some stories in my life and read about how things are going in my friend’s lives. Occasionally, I get a message that makes me step back and reflect. I received such a message this week when my friend wrote the following to me; “I sense that there are a lot of things that you are unsure about, and there is a confusion about your direction. And I also sense it has been that way for a while.”
My immediate reaction was – YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT!
I do not know have everything figured out. There is always a lot going on, I am always being pulled in many directions, always not certain about what is the correct action, nor which path to follow…
I reflected upon this for some time. Reflecting on my needs and how I stumbled around to fulfill them. In my own abilities, in my work, in my relationships, etc. And the more I became aware of my most essential needs, the more I realize I cannot fulfill them. I realized how truly powerless I am.
Coming to grips with how insufficient I am is a life long journey. It is incredibly hard to look into the mirror and know all of my faults and all of the ways I fall short in life (especially when people’s perfect lives seem to be broadcasted in front of my face at all times…). Experiencing the genuine reality of my many faults is when honesty hits home.
But this powerlessness is far from a curse. Understanding I am not a self-sustaining entity makes me realize how much I need support. Reflecting on my daunting needs makes me recognize how much I need God, who is at the heart of my deepest desire, who is my desire, the source and summit of everything that is sustaining in my life!
Powerlessness drives me to the recognition of how much the encounters with Christ mean to me. How much having a relationship with God is the only thing that fulfills me.
I am not saying that human relationship is not helpful to figure things out. I mean, if you could get another mind trying to help you hold off the entropy in your life, that is 100% more brainpower than only one person. But doubling a penny for your thoughts is still only two pennies… And two pennies do not spend like they used to…
Relying on God for everything trusting him with everything, that is the goal. The journey of attempting to put our lives together so that we can follow Christ fills God with joy. And in turn, it fills our life with meaning and love.
I close this reflection with a confession, and a realization. My confession is that I do not have everything figured out, but my realization is that that is okay. Thomas Merton wrote a wonderful prayer that speaks to my journey and I trust it will speak to yours:
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 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.