Today has been a bit of a reflection day. It hit me that I have jumped from one world of the cathedral and Rochester, over to the world of Gillingham and the prison very quickly, and I have had no real time to think about how to change my practice, how to prepare myself to start again and how to actually go about that whole thing of starting again.
The geographical closeness of the 2 places along with my familiarity with the Gillingham that used to exist means the temptation to carry on and just do what I have done on a daily basis for the last few years is quite a powerful temptation.
It may be right to start again in exactly the same way …. and that is what I intended to do, but last night I realised I had not really thought or prayed much about this. So today has been pretty much a thought and prayer day.
Today, in particular, I have found this prayer of Thomas Merton to be both powerfully challenging and warmly comforting in some way. These words help me to accept where I am, and give me the permission to rest in the knowledge that although I have no real idea what is going to happen, that I can be comfortable in that ignorance. Too often we feel pressured into acting, or developing, or birthing something new quite quickly and often too soon. So now, as I enter this time of reflection and listening and uncertainty, I draw strength from knowing not only have I been here before, but so have many others before me:
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 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.