All that I am is Yours

Born into dysfunction
and disease
and disinformation,
I entered blind
and lame
and dumb
To Your will and to Your perfect love.

Oh Lord, I didn’t know You.

I didn’t know how to search for You
Or what to look for.

I didn’t know who to ask,
Nor even the right questions
To learn about You.

Crippled by my ignorance
Vulnerable in my loneliness,
I leaned on frail and fragile crutches.
They didn’t save me from stumbling.
They didn’t protect me falling,
Over and over again.

Into this hopeless wasteland,
Oh God,
You sent Your Son
And through Him, Your Holy Spirit.
He comforted me and called me to You.

Now, each time I misunderstand,
Each time I mis-step
Or seek direction from the sin-filled sources,
As I continue to do in my unknowingness,
You brake my fall.
You shield me.
You teach me what to search for,
How to seek,
How to recognize Your precious face.
You teach me how to listen,
How to hear Your Holy Word,
Even in the the chaos and cacophony of our world.

Good and gracious Lord
There are not words sufficient to express my gratitude.

All I have to offer You
Are the consequences of Your gifts to me —
My joy,
My reverence,
My obedience,
My humility,

As I realize again and again
All I have is Yours.
All that I am
Is because of You and Your grace.

How could I possibly lift my voice
Or my mind
Or my heart in anger or frustration,
Oh my God,
Knowing, as You have allowed me to do,
That all that I am
Is Yours.

Obedience: Ordinary things are made holy and great when we desire His will

It’s early morning again. I’m reading Merton’s journal for April 1 where he discusses obedience.

Book Cover

I found myself savoring one particular sentence where he wrote,

But in so far as we desire, with Christ, that the Father’s will may be done in us, as it is in heaven and in Christ, then even the smallest and most ordinary things are made holy and great. (highlighting added)

This recent time has been a one of waiting and worry, of deepening concern where I must learn (and relearn it seems with each new day) to trust and have faith, to lean on and submit to Him whose will I desire above all things. As each day has passed, my prayers for what I thought was desirable have gone seemingly unanswered and yet I know He has heard me.

I know this just because. This is our faith. But, I know this, too, because along the way He has sent me many beautiful reassurances – on holy waiting and patience; on the differences between worry and prayer; and here, where Merton goes on to write:

And then in all things the love of God opens and flowers, and our lives are transformed. This transformation is a manifestation and advent of God in the world.

One of the fruits of a solitary life is a sense of the absolute importance of obeying God—a sense of the need to obey and to seek His will, to choose freely to see and accept what comes from Him, not as a last resort, but as one’s “daily super-substantial bread.” Liberation from automatic obedience into the seriousness and gravity of a free choice to submit. (highlighting added)

Accepting what our Lord provides, ‘not as a last resort,’ but as all we need and precisely what we need for that day. And not just passively accepting His will, but actively participating in His plan by making ‘a free choice to submit.’

Then, I almost laughed out loud as I read Merton’s final thought. He wrote:

But it is not easy to see always where and how!

Well, no it’s not. But our Lord loves us – even in our feeble and flawed attempts to do His will.

———————-

Another day has dawned. Another day filled with opportunities to choose first to submit to the wonder He has planned for us, to give thanks, to rejoice and be glad.