Saturday, March 12, 2011

Merton's Prayer

By Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

"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."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who Is It For?

I recently heard this story in a sermon by Tim Keller. It is a fictional story, so don't go looking for it in the Bible. The story is by Elizabeth Elliott, though I'm not sure of the original title.

One day, Jesus instructed His disciples to find a stone to pick up and carry with them as they walked the road together. Peter, in particular, responds by selecting the smallest stone he can find, and he carries it as they journey. Eventually, Jesus and His disciples become hungry, but they have no food.

Jesus has the disciples stop by the road, and He says to them, "Now take out your stones."

As they bring out their stones, Jesus turns the stones into bread and invites them to eat. By now, Peter is regretting his choice of stone. He looks at his stone turned bread, and it's just a little crumb. He eats it, grumbling to himself, and afterward he is still quite hungry.

After lunch, Jesus tells His disciples to go find another stone to carry. This time, Peter goes and finds the largest stone he is able to bear. As they walk, he can barely carry the thing, but he can hardly wait until supper.

Finally, about supper time, hungry and exhausted, Jesus and His disciples reach a river side. As they are standing on the bank, Jesus once again asks them to take out their stones.

"Cast your stones into the river," He says. "Now follow Me."

The disciples obey, but they are perplexed by this command. Peter is a bit angry. This isn't what he or any of them were expecting.

In response to their frustration, Jesus simply asks, "Who were you carrying the stones for?"