Signposts: Daily Devotions

Saturday, January 3

O Lord, you have searched me and known me,
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.

—Psalm 139:1-3

I hope this is good news for all who are reading this. God knows us in the most intimate way, and loves us. This awareness is the basic condition for starting off on the inward journey, a journey we must all make if we are to grow.

Thomas Merton wrote, "Our real journey in life is interior: it is a matter of growth, deepening, and of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts." The inner journey, getting to know ourselves is, I believe, a journey toward God. It is neither easy nor comfortable but it is the key to living authentically. 

In her excellent book A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton, Esther de Waal writes: "We all have a journey to make into that true self, the person God wants us to be, wills us to become." She then quotes Merton:

To work out my own identity in God, which the Bible calls "working out our salvation," is a labour that requires sacrifice and anguish, risk and many tears. I do not know clearly beforehand what the result of this work will be, the secret of my full identity is hidden in Him. He alone can make me who I am, rather who I will be when at last I fully begin to be.

O God, you have searched me out and known me. Help me to give up chasing after false identities. Help me instead to accept your love, forgiveness, and understanding so that I can be the man or woman you created me to be. Amen.