In 1985, in the first blush of getting to know and love each other as new friends, the "Gundies" of Gund Hall dormitory spent a day sitting around learning the entire lyric to "American Pie." We also learned the front and back ends of the television theme song for Gilligan's Island, but that's beside the point. Today is the day that many are remembering as the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash after a show in Iowa. Learning the song Don McLean wrote in tribute to that loss is a memory treasure box to me now. I can close my eyes and be "back there" with old friends (images of whom are now easily obtainable on Facebook). That reverie brings a welcome sense of nostalgia, especially when I look outside my home office window and see the snow accumulating on the ground, just as it did that day 24 years ago.
At a time when I am tasked with seeking what God is asking of me for the immediate future, taking a few moments to review the past is important. How did I get to this moment? With choices in front of me, what parts of me is God putting to use here and now so that I can be a more faithful servant tomorrow? We forget that all the adventures, experiences and lessons of life given to us are meant as fodder for mking choices in the here and now. Thank God that those little reminders pushed their way in to my discernment this morning. They mean a great deal to me, and God willing they will aid me in my discernment.
Another item that crossed my virtual viewfinder this morning came from a Facebook update a friend of mine posted. She is an icon writer, and is leading a workshop this week in Florida. I browsed her blog- "Transformation Iconography" and came across a post of hers on Thomas Merton. Her depiction of this 20th Century mystic moved me, but not as much as the prayer he is credited with writing-and which she attaches as comment to her post:
Prayer of Thomas Merton
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 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.
As I pray, make decisions about the future and seek God's will for L and I, I remain blessed and amazed by how God continues to put powerful tools into our hands. It is up to us to put them to use.