Hello and welcome to Open Book, a lively discussion of literature and spirituality. My name is Lori Strawn and I'm a pray maker for prayables.com, an online prayer community for women of all faiths. Today with me, as always, is my friend Alice Shelton. Hi Alice
First a few housekeeping matters; we would love to have you join our conversation. Simply call 347-855-8506 and press 1 on your key pad or join us in the chatroom. All you have to do is sign in at blog talk radio, provide a name and a password and enter the chatroom. Alice I believe you have a quote from Thomas Merton that you would like to share this week.
I do Lori, it's kind of long, so I hope everyone will sit back and take a good listen.
"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 that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I do not 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."
So that's a long quote from Thomas Merton's book "Thoughts on Solitude" and I selected this because I often struggle with finding ways to help myself pray, motivate myself to pray and I often feel like I have no direction, I have no idea where I'm going and sometimes I'm just kind of praying in isolation so that's what struck me about this quote.
Well that's very relatable and I think we all have those moments when we don't know quite where we are or where we're going.
Yeah. Have you ever had a time in your life, Lori, where you really felt like you had gone down the wrong road but ended up in the right place?
Oh absolutely, at our last reunion, in fact, I was feeling pretty blue, didn't really know where I was going with my career and it wasn't immediately afterwards, I guess God gives us a little time to figure things out, but it wasn't too long after that that I was contacted by Prayables. And I feel like I've really found something in them, in that it combines my love of my faith, of course, and my writing ability, especially prayers being something like poems, and I've always loved to write poetry and helping people - there's the cherry on top. I mean yeah, that was a wonder, it was just really a wonderous thing that happened to me along the road.
Well it's funny, it's a little off subject, but I was thinking about the day that I got your email asking if I would be interested in talking to you weekly about spiritual matters. I had really been struggling with prayer and had been reading a chpter in a book that I'm reading called "Women of Grace" about prayer and trying to just direct your control over to God and things like that. And I got your email and it was just like hello, this is a a surprise that this seems like something that can be helping me focus and keep thinking about God and praying and being focused, so that was kind of cool.
Absolutely, now this is going to sound a little strange, but I often pick a current song that is sort of my theme song for a little while. And back when I didn't really know where I was going or what I was doing and it was a song by a band called Dancehall Crashers and it's called "I know Where I Want to go, I Just Don't Know how to get There." Ever feel like that sometimes?