By J.P. Smith, DSC Earth Care Chair
Have you ever started a journey without knowing your destination? Our church, our country, our planet, is presently being pummeled by forces that seem so formidable in the aggregate. The response may be one of correction or pushing back against these destructive impacts. We may feel the overpowering need to act and protect God’s gift of the Earth and everything living there. I do. Without knowing the final destination, we can take action, make changes, have a positive effect. A prayer by Thomas Merton really brings this journey, this effort, into focus:
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 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 I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know 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.
– Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999)
And so, leave the Road Atlas at home. Look around for opportunities where one person (you), multiplied by many more, can effect positive change protecting God’s gift. You are part of that gift.