Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Desire to Please You

Last September, two weeks after accepting a new job and putting in my notice at my old job, I packed up my car and drove more than 1,200 miles south along IH-35.  I literally knew one person in my new city: my boss, whom I'd only met once, at my interview. 

This was a quite relevant prayer for me at that time (and still is):

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. 

Amen.  

(Thomas Merton)

Before and during my move, I prayed that God would help me be open to new people and situations, and help me have the relationships He wanted for me.  In that spirit, the day I moved into my new apartment, I went to a group run.  Many of the people I met at that first run have become good friends.  And through those friends, I have made other close friends.  These relationships have led me places I never could have imagined just a few months ago: running my first ultramarathons, including a 50-mile race; winning age group awards (don't get too excited -- there just weren't many people running those races); running at night in the Hill Country wilderness by the light of headlamps; paddleboarding in Austin; signing up for my first 100-mile race; and camping in exotic places like Burnet and Smithville, TX.  God has blessed me with happiness, friendship, and peace -- largely through the instrument of running.

Since we don't know where the road ahead will take us, all we can do is place our trust in God.  My experience these last seven months has shown me that if we are open to His will and His Holy Spirit, and trustingly take those first steps onto the path ahead, He will lead us and will never abandon us.  

Come, Holy Spirit!