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September 5, 2017 – A Prayer on Wandering

September 5, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray.

Somewhere along the way I got sidetracked, lost in the events of daily life.  It seems too easy to lose one’s way, to get distracted by one crisis after another.  Then I received a message that someone had read my blog which I hadn’t added to in five years, even having forgotten its existence.  That was a little spark, and I began to wonder if something that I had written might help one person who responded.  Maybe if there was one person who responded there might be others who chose to remain private?

When I was at the pint of writing very infrequently, I had begun to question myself and my motives in writing prayers.  Was I just doing this so that others might think how great a guy I was?  Was I writing for others more than I was “conversing” with God?  I thought about the time when I was writing prayers regularly and I learned that I was more aware of God’s presence in the world, or where God’s presence was needed.  I began to attend to little events which gave me a glimpse of God’s hand in the world.  It began to become a positive habit.  I want to return to that way of looking at the world again.


A Prayer on Wandering


How long I have strayed/stayed
Away from You,
Retirement has brought me
Time to use productively
Yet, I have squandered it
Developing ways to kill it,
To use it
Without accomplishing anything.
To forget to be.

Help me remember
Your presence throughout my day.
To feel gratitude
For all my gifts,
To see Your hand
In all things.






2 Comments leave one →
  1. Leanne Bishop permalink
    September 5, 2017 7:35 PM

    Dear Tom,

    I stumbled across one of your prayers yesterday and found it both beautiful, and heartful and was the prayer I needed at that moment. I then searched for more and couldn’t find anything more recent. This started a more rigorous search and clicking, but to no avail. So I couldn’t be more delighted to read your post this morning. I am not sure whether it was my subscribing or clicking that led to you being prompted to reflect and write more, but if it was I couldn’t be happier. Thank you! Not only for the prayers that you have written, but for the honesty of your reflections.

    I look forward to more.




    • September 7, 2017 7:50 PM

      Hi Leanne,

      I think that it must have been your clicking on the prayer. I received a notice in my email that someone had read it. I hadn’t had anything like that it a long time and quite frankly, I forgot about the blog. So I am grateful, for your click. Even if the prayers don’t turn out great for others, they might help me to refocus on what is important in life.

      Several years ago one of our children got in serious legal trouble. He is mildly mentally disabled, and was caught with a girl in his car. He was being tried for a sexual offense. I felt overwhelmed and thought that my only way out of the situation was to ask family and friends to pray with me. It became my habit for a few years, then I began to question myself. Was I writing for the “audience” or as a conversation with God. I began to think that I was a phony. I guess over time, I have felt that even in my imperfection, I was a much better person looking for God’s “appearance” in the world around me. Thomas Merton’s prayer is one that I rate highly as helping me. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s wonderful:

      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 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 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.

      Thank you for telling me that you liked the prayer. It’s amazing to me that you are in Australia, while I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio, yet we have a connection.

      Have a great day! Check in once in a while. It was fun to hear from you.



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