DT 30: 15-20
PS 1: 1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
How do we live out God’s will in our everyday decisions? Overall, we know we want to follow God, but do our everyday choices, big and small, reflect that commitment? As humans, many times we blatantly go against God’s will and choose sin. Other times we hope we are doing the right thing, but we have no way of knowing for certain if we are doing the right thing. We wrestle with different options and wish that God would simply send us a sign confirming that we are on the right path. When reflecting on the readings of today, it is hard not to become a little apprehensive with the emphasis on the destructive outcomes if we do not follow God’s commands. If these are the consequences, which is even more reason He should make His will a little more clear.
When I was struggling last year with how to know if I was following God’s will, a friend shared this following prayer with me. It has since become my favorite prayer, and I hope you enjoy it also. I had been praying for God to show me what to do with my life, and I knew I wanted to follow His will. However, I did not know if I was actually doing so or just making my own path and convincing myself it was what God would want. The prayer is as follows:
“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
Focus on the line “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.” My hope is to keep that desire to please God in the forefront of our Lenten journeys, growing in our desire to do God’s will without losing sight of the big picture by stressing the details. The prayer provides a sense of comfort that our attempts to follow His ways, no matter if we stumble or succeed, bring God joy. A genuine desire to please God and an effort to step back and let Him have direction over our lives will allow those details fall into place.
Emily Kirsch is a sophomore majoring in Public Health with a minor in Spanish. She is involved with the Micah community, Campus Ministry, and Billikens for Clean Water.