I saw this quote from Frederick Buechner, an American writer and theologian, the other day. I was contemplating what to do about a particular situation and all of a sudden, there was the answer, this quote, “Go where your best prayers take you.”
As I read the words, a smile came across my face. A reminder just at the right moment, and while the words may seem so simple or even obvious, I felt so grateful to see them and to be reminded of what I know through experience to be so true. I think most of us start out with the best of intentions and then along the way, we can get sidetracked or pulled away from the very place to which we started out.
It seems like it has been human nature, since the beginning of time, to want to be in charge, whether consciously or sub-consciously. Yet, I and many people I know, and know of, seem to agree, that being in a place of seeing oneself as being in charge, or the ultimate authority, can be a most dangerous place to be. Putting oneself at the top, in head and heart, seems to be a place that leads to chaos of one kind or another, more often than not. We can all probably point to many examples of such chaos in our lives and throughout the world.
“One of the most arduous spiritual tasks is that of giving up control and allowing the Spirit of God to lead our lives.” – Henri Nouwen
We can all probably also point to moments of joy and triumph that we’ve experienced ourselves or seen around us where the decision(s) seemed to be so guided by prayer rather than motivated by self-determination or self-preservation. This is not to say that decisions led by prayer do not also come with difficulty or challenge. Sometimes they do. However, when I turn my will over to God, putting prayer and listening at the top of the list, and asking God to help me to choose light and hope over fear, I find without fail, peace, calm and blessings in the midst of smooth sailing as well as in the midst of a storm.
St. Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing…”