Sabbath Ramblings: A Hiatus, Kinda.

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Articles, Sabbath Ramblings

For the past three months, I've been delivering to you, every Sunday, an article primarily focused not on your physical or mental fitness, but your spiritual fitness.

I hope you have been enjoying these so-called “Sabbath Ramblings.”

However, I am now shifting gears and plunging deep into the throes of a new book…

…that is…

…you guessed it: focused on your spiritual fitness.

As a result, you'll find the next several week's Sabbath Ramblings to be a bit of a hiatus from long-form content and instead to be one quick snippet, word of wisdom, or spiritual discovery.


So let's start here.

Whenever I find an inspirational quote, I either add it to the screensaver list of quotes on my computer, turn it into a giant mug (such as my Theodore Roosevelt “Man In The Arena” mug, or my “Who Am I?” mug), or into a large wall poster for my office.

The poster I've been pondering quite a bit lately hangs directly to the right of my office door. It is a prayer by Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion:

“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.”

So what does this prayer mean to me?

In short, trust God.

Follow the path He lays out before you.

And do understand that God draws straight in crooked lines. The road that got you here won't necessarily get you there. Embrace the zigzag and just trust.

Now I'm curious. What does this prayer mean to you? I'm also curious if you have your own quotes, prayers, or inspirational sayings you have personally found meaningful of late. Leave your thoughts, comments, and questions below. I read them all. 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question



72 thoughts on “Sabbath Ramblings: A Hiatus, Kinda.

  1. David Lam says:

    How can you be such a spiritual person yet be involved with predatory journal companies like Qualia?

  2. Erik says:

    My couple favorite “dead guy” authors that I continue to gain wisdom from and their works:
    E.M. Bounds- all of his books on prayer
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer- Cost of Discipleship
    Andrew Murray – Abide in Christ

    The impact these guys’ ministries and books have had on many cannot be overstated.

  3. Vanja says:

    I cried out to him for help Praising him as I spoke psalm 66.17 ❤️ Every time ! Throughout my 39 years from the age of 6, no pressure from anyone , when I have done this as the words are written my prayers have been answered. Sometimes not as I see but always answered every time. I trust in the lord always. Dark days I remember Jesus sleeping through the storm pass me a pillow why you wake me “Ye if little faith “ I remember reset and think all in a storm with Jesus he sleeps we worry , he sleeps because there is no worry he paid the price , faith is all we need. Love 💕 this prayer you have it beings reassuring moments for all .

  4. Michael Headlee says:

    A friend summed up the Bible in 4 words: Love, God, Self, Others

  5. Gab says:

    It’s so refreshing to see a believer thats into wellness and scientific and practical hacks. You are definitely annointed Ben! keep doing what you’re doing for the glory of God.

    Gab from the Philippines.

  6. Michael Headlee says:

    Have no fear for what
    tomorrow may bring.
    The same loving God who
    cares for you today will take
    care of you tomorrow and
    every day. God will either
    shield you from suffering or
    give you unfailing strength
    to bear it. Be at peace, then,
    and put aside all anxious
    thoughts and imaginations. – St. Francis de Sales

  7. kathleen kahl says:

    My Pastor got this prayer from a women he admired:
    Lord Jesus,
    Help me to see with your eyes, hear with your ears, speak with your words, lift up with your hands, walk with your feet and Love with your Heart. Amen

  8. Barbara says:

    Ben and community, James Finley has a podcast called Turning to the Mystics. Merton is the subject of season one and this quote is discussed in Thomas Merton: session 4. Finley spent six years at Gethsemane Abbey with Merton as his spiritual director. Much love and peace to all.

    1. Red says:

      The Bible verse in Joshua 1:9 is a wonderful reminder of God’s presence and his straight lines when life is on unknown curves and zig zags of experiences.

  9. D. Lyons 1 says:

    One of my favorite quotes that continues to inspire me whenever I read it. “In every dream journey, there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention”. Mark Batterson

  10. Adrian Matthew Farrall says:

    If this prayer has been on your mind you should contact Clear Creek Abbey guestmaster and schedule a retreat. They live medieval monasticism according to the ancient Roman liturgy and a 1000+ year tradition that the founding monks brought with them from France to the US. Every aspect of their day from rising till sleep is ordered towards giving glory to God through prayer, manual labor, what they eat etc. An experience like none other; working, living and praying with the monks. Highly recommend, it will give great clarity to your life and you can request spiritual direction from one of the monks and usually the spiritual directors have been monks for almost 50 years. Would be a great opportunity for research for your new project and I can give many book recommendations to prepare for such a retreat.

    1. Steve says:

      For too long I’ve been “captured” by the evangelicals, there’s so much more, so great to open oneself to some of the other great thinkers and God-lovers.

  11. Burt says:

    “Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living.” Thomas a Kempis

  12. Dawn says:

    Esse Quam Videri

  13. JD Buchanan says:

    Recent inspirational thought: Today is the only asset you truly have and should fear wasting.

  14. Beth says:

    I love this! Can’t wait to read the new book.

    One of my favourite verses that I have made my prayer is this:
    “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭143:8-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  15. It’s very amazing blog because in this blog more information about health fitness and I learn many things from it .
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    https://www.yorksfitness.com

  16. Emily Andersen says:

    “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
    This Prayer of Jabez isn’t exactly as I learned but is similar. “Bless me first” – so that I can help others. “Guide my hand so that I cause no harm” – as a chiropractor, this resonates with me.

  17. Tommy says:

    Ben- below is Paul’s advice to dwell on the good stuff. I believe my son gave you a book about this verse called The 4:8 Principle when he met you in LA at a book signing. Thanks for what you’re doing.

    Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
    Philippians 4:8 [MSG]

  18. Shirley Van Egmond says:

    My fave text has always been Isaiah 40:31, They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. I was a sprinter in elementary and high school. I think that is why it always resonated with me. It reminds me now that all we have to do is wait upon the Lord and we will have strength. We don’t have to be anything stellar or amazing. Just wait upon Him and trust. We all are an individual gift, born with a purpose. These days its not always easy to remember that as we all struggle at our own level with what’s going on with this virus, and also what feels like such a messed up world. All we have to do is wait and trust. Period. What a blessing that is from God.

  19. Steve says:

    Where there is no love, put love — and you will find love. ~ St. John of the Cross

    That line has changed a lot on my life over the years. Thank you for this Ben. You have prompted me to get back into the writings of St John of the Cross.

    1. Mohan says:

      Any particular books on St John of the Cross?

  20. Brock Frazier says:

    Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭(ESV) always a good one to go to 👉🏽 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
    ‭‭

  21. Fr. Martin Vu says:

    Good morning Ben!

    I’m a Catholic priest and I’ve been following your podcast for some time. I’m happy to see you quoting Thomas Merton. His autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain is an incredible read. Have you also read The Confessions by St. Augustine?

    Here’s a quote from St. Teresa of Ávila that I’m fond of, “Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

    Her original Spanish is a little more poetic, “Nada te turbe, Nada te espante, Todo se pasa, Dios no se muda, La paciencia Todo lo alcanza; Quien a Dios tiene, Nada le falta: Sólo Dios basta.”

  22. Vange says:

    Today I’m thinking about the quote…

    ‘It’s not about being the best in the world,
    It’s about being the best for the world!’

    Mate! This reminds of Jesus!

  23. Velma Gallant says:

    I love the short bites! Easy to read and absorb!

    I especially loved this: “understand that God draws straight in crooked lines”.

  24. Jim says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful thought. Just printed it out and put it on my home altar. Been listening to your podcast for several years, and have been touched to hear about the spiritual part of your life. Loved seeing you on the CrossPolitic podcast and enjoyed the discussion very much. Looking forward to the new book!

  25. Art K says:

    Just a great recommendation, if you have some time get “think like a Monk” by Jay Shetty. He combines ancient monk wisdom with our current times. Its a good read/listen. I recommend audible version.

  26. Richard says:

    My morning “prayer”…”Use me-where would you have me go, what would you have me do, and what would you have me say, and to whom”
    Directed to higher power or energy, greater than me, that encompasses all people and religions, no exclusions.

  27. Travis says:

    “I did not come to save you from the Romans. I came to save you from sin.” From the series ” The Chosen” where Y`SHUA(Jesus) is conversing with Nicodemus

    1. Vange says:

      Love that! So true! Love that series too!

  28. Tangelina says:

    Well Ben, is call myself an ALLOWist, WOWist, DAOist. Meaning I allow the wow to lead me in the Dao (Tao for those using old spelling). There isn’t much I can be certain of so embracing the mystery and letting that be champion is a feeling I take sanctuary in.
    I’m a mother of a precious firecracker who is my 4yr fresh daughter. Leaving a legacy that I can feel excited about for her is my major commitment so right now the spiritual quote that is most present for me is from Buckminster Fuller “ You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    The only thing we truly have is time (which is variable) and the only things we have control over is how we respond, where we put our attention, and how we use our imagination and intention. Life is made up of stories and projections we tell the world and ourselves. Become a master storyteller of what reality you are voting for with your attention And Sensation!

    Really appreciate your willingness to dive in, explore, discover, learn, grow, and create Ben. What a great service🙏💙🙏

  29. Todd Wauters says:

    Love that you referenced Thomas Merton today. My biggest takeaway from his writings is that of a man who followed so many paths driven by selfish desires only to find his true calling and peace once he abandoned his own desires for that of God’s will.

    As a cradle Catholic, I think about how much I have taken for granted the beauty and depth of our Faith. It wasn’t until a few years ago did I really embrace our history and what it means to be the Lord’s Church. Now I have truly fallen in love with the Faith, and the more I learn the more it inspires me to be the best at all that I can accomplish.

    I appreciate your writings and you are in my prayers.

  30. na says:

    I’ve been struggling spiritually, losing faith, and am really grateful for your strong, unapologetic, roaring example. The world needs more people willing to speak out.

  31. Spencer Whyte says:

    I really needed this today. Even though I work for a church and grew up in the church I find myself occasionally sitting with my thoughts and realizing I have no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going, or what God has planned for me.

    I need the reminder that following Him and continuing to pursue Him is enough. He will take care of the rest.

    One of the members of our Directional Leadership Team said it well at a meeting last week, “Love God. Love people. That’s it.” Simple yet profoundly difficult.

    Also, one of my favorite prayers is one our senior pastor uses daily “God today I submit my mind, my eyes, my feet, my mouth, my ears, my hands, my heart and my whole life to you. Use me for your purpose.”

  32. Jesse Buster says:

    Prayer to me is time & communion with God, primarily to say thanks.
    This is wonderful, I appreciate you putting this up.

  33. Matt James says:

    I love how you stated “God draws straight in crooked lines”. That is so true, and so very important for each of us to embrace!
    Foe me, it’s a scripture that provides daily strength and encouragement.
    It’s found in Joshua, chapter 1 verse 9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
    Have a great week!!!

  34. Malaysia says:

    My favorite scripture of all time is Psalms 92: 12-13. “And the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree….those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

    After a particularly trying time in my life I got a tattoo of a palm tree above my left ankle and every time I look at it, I think of my favorite scripture and all the things I’ve been through and still came out the other side. I love the imagery of the scripture because palm trees withstand powerful storms yet they still stand tall once they pass.

    Your Sabbath ramblings are a delight. Good luck on your hiatus

  35. Andrea says:

    Thank you for this particular prayer. The road definitely has been zig zaggy for my family and me the last 6 months. And there just seems to be more uncertainty ahead. That gentle reminder to trust God was on point.

  36. Sydney says:

    If you’re going to make the gospel about you, it’s not going to be good news. If you’re going to make the gospel about Christ, it’s the best news you could possibly hear. —Michael Horton

    O Christian, the world is not your friend. If it is, then you are not God’s friend. —Charles Spurgeon

    If you see yourself as a little sinner you will inevitably see Jesus as a little savior. —Martin Luther

    There is nothing more irreligious than self-absorbed religion. —JI Packer

    From every text in the Bible, there is a road to Jesus. —Spurgeon

    Unbelief of God’s word is the root of all other sin. —Spurgeon

    Jesus got what He didn’t deserve…so you could get what you didn’t deserve. —Costi Hinn

    The true gospel is radically exclusive. Jesus is not a way, He is the way. All other ways are no way at all. —Paul Washer

    Be an expert on the Word of God, and you will always know what to say to the culture. —John MacArthur

    Good friends offend you when necessary, and they also offend you when necessary. —Samuel Sey

    Humility is the leading virtue in the kingdom of God. No strutting peacocks are admitted, only lowly sheep. —Steven Lawson

    We have a culture that has grown fond of exchanging in-depth expositional preaching for topical Ted talks. We have far too many believers who have grown accustomed to pragmatism rather than the power of the gospel. —Just Thinking Podcast

    The safest road to hell is by constantly blaming the broken system, oppressive group or social inequities rather than recognizing the problem is our own heart. —Dustin Benge

    Ignorance of the Scripture is the root of all error and makes a man helpless in the hand of the devil. —JC Ryle

    Okay, I’ll stop. :) I pray the journey you’re on takes you the right direction.

  37. Michael says:

    I needed to hear this.

    1. Jonas Gudjonis says:

      Good Morning, Ben Greenfield.
      Well that prayer meant some sort of ocean waves to me like rising which could bring diferent associance wild or normal couse I likely would seek in that moment Jesus the Way Life and yeah Truth and me can think about what can seems happens what me were not preparing for and that me can hang on part of things I or/and u seeked and know me , u wating for graces from Everlasting King …
      that can be shocking experience feel not know who u are nor are really His , feel cold , and have also part period time when thinking is hard thing . I realise that there are lots of various people and what they alike went its breath taking how hard can be and what can be stunning to some that they not fall into self pettiness like questioning : Why God ? Why me? Why ? In that time I should recommend use verse which sound something like that I will not die today I shall live to see the glory of God and not blame God . I think even Job didn’t blamed God or part of other Christians for their situations . I think there are reasons for believing Him and reasons build base belief on something beyond current situation. And what can be good that God sometimes uses hard time to draw us to Himself and thats great important thing …
      How wonderfull begins Psalm 23 King David psalm
      The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
      2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
      he leads me beside quiet waters,
      3 he refreshes my soul.
      He guides me along the right paths
      for his name’s sake.
      4 Even though I walk
      through the darkest valley,[a]
      I will fear no evil,
      for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff,
      they comfort me.

      In due time I and u should realise that whatever trouble might be it becomes easier to handle it when we know that it will not last long.

  38. Luis says:

    God knows our hearts, and he can change our hearts if we will let Him.

  39. Rob says:

    “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
    -Corrie ten Boom

  40. Sandie says:

    Hi Ben,
    The 91st Psalm has been my go to during this China virus fiasco. I enjoyed your interview with the guys from Nashville. Loved hearing your testimony. BTW: why do you ask for the website? I’m not sure what that means. I’m reading your emails that I receive so don’t know what you are asking.

  41. D Saving says:

    I seek his direction, thank him for what I discover, plead for wisdom and insight, and desire the he enable me to live what I have learned.
    I thank God for your zigzag line and ask for his wisdom and insight on how I can use my zigzag line to teach people the power of fully trusting the Lord. I pray the Lord enable me to live all I have learned from you !

  42. Terry says:

    Thank you Ben. I love these. And the short form is excellent. I do have a request: would you ever do some ‘short form’ podcasts? I am always wishing everyone would do short form podcasts. I am a super busy guy and listening to anything for an hour and 15 minutes is very hard, therefore I have prob 20 podcasts ‘saved’ for when I have time….which rarely comes. That being said, I have 20+ saved from others doing great podcasts as well. I’m so interested in learning, but the time is always holding me back. Maybe I’m alone in this but a 30 min get to the nuts and bolts wud be so beneficial to me. Maybe juet sprinkle a few in along with the normal length? Just a thought! Thanks for all that you do.

    Terry

    1. Lisa Hardison says:

      I could have written this very thing. I want to listen to bens podcasts but rarely can due to their length. 15-20 minutes =!Ideal! LOVE the Sabbath Ramblings. 👍🏼🙏🏼

  43. Ari says:

    Ben, you Still think “someone” bigger than you up there is “judging” or “ approving” of you …..

    And where is “ up” anyway ?

    The only way out is in……

    1. Art says:

      nicely said

  44. Bill Soscia says:

    This quote by Thomas Merton reminds me a lot of Psalm 23. Regardless of my situation, God is always there for me. He is the Ultimate Shepherd guiding His Flock. It also reminds me to share my goals and intentions with the Lord to try my best to align my will with His. I believe Jesus taught us best when He said to the Father: “Not My Will But Yours.” Finally, when I’m down or feel weak I remember the words of St Paul: “ I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”

  45. Katherine says:

    For as long as we consider God to be male, women will remain second-class humans, afterthoughts in the mind of God. No thanks.

    1. Lesley says:

      God is not a specific gender. The translation of the Bible into English created that because the English language doesn’t have a way to express a person as neither ‘him’ nor ‘her’. ‘It’ is no longer a person

    2. It’s a mystery…ask the Mother of God and she’ll explain it to you.

    3. Honeypie says:

      Maybe too literal?

  46. Elijah says:

    I’m in a fight for my life with ALS, the only comfort I’ve found is knowing HE is with me. Depression from it has ruined my marriage, but I began to pray and help came from Him

    1. Please contact me re ALS. I have found answers.

      1. Elijah A says:

        How can I get in contact with you?

  47. Mark says:

    God is a HE?
    Trust instead of hope, hope leaves room for doubt. Trust = Totally Respecting Universal Spirits Timing.
    Sometimes thank you comes with a ? Hind sight is always 20/20

  48. Mike Dreyer says:

    My wife passed away after a 10 year battle with Multiple Myeloma, but before she did, she made sure to live the best life she could under the circumstances. She blogged about her thoughts, struggles, and hope often. One of my favorite quotes was from her blog, after a very challenging time where she was on the cusp of making one of her many tough decisions. Her quote was “ Dig deep, breathe, and trust the journey”. Good luck on your journey Ben.

  49. Cindy says:

    I cannot recalls the author but here it is: “He drew a circle that left me out- heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. but love and I had the wit ti win, we drew a circle and took him in.” Cindy

    1. Gabi says:

      Edwin Markham :)

  50. My prayer for decades has been these three things: please give me Your knowledge, Your wisdom, Your understanding.

    I realize that my own knowledge wisdom and understanding are far lacking. Instead I require that of my Creator. I Face Everything And Rise. Zero fear. Only FEAR! I Trust my Abba. My Papa.

  51. Mike says:

    My favorite quote is “Life begins where your comfort zone ends.” As someone who is a quiet introvert type It always reminds me to try something different and step out of my shell.

  52. Nimi Goaten says:

    Hi Ben,

    This prayer just like most of them around the world…. has a tone of fear rather than love. God doesn’t want to be our ‘lord’ but he definitely is and wants us to know how loving as a father he is (and mother).

    The world has missed the ‘mark of love’ big time and that is why we are praying, the way we do.

    It doesn’t take us closer to our father, in fact, it only creates a distance.

    Our connection to God is very very close, intimate, and peaceful, so much so that we are missing it altogether.

    That feeling, that love for our father doesn’t come by just praying (this way) it comes by logically understanding the science behind it and giving it it’s due passion and time for investigation, in it.

    All religions of this world ‘miss the mark’ clearly too or else they would not be the way they are now.

    We will find God in our feelings but before we can even find that we need to accept the demons hiding at the door.

    It’s not a one-off process, it’s a constant game of deliberate creation by default.

    There is so much I can say….but…..I stop here.

    1. Trent O'Brien says:

      Hello, Nimi.

      Interested in reading more from you. Please share.

      Genuinely,

      Trent.

  53. Greg Bounds says:

    I have a board I made that hangs in my workout room that reads “my why, my purpose, my potential” i have pondered that statement many times. I am 59 soon to be 60, and sadly still don’t know my purpose. God has worked in my life in so many ways, and I love looking back at how he righted my path. But Ben, I don’t know why I’m here. I study the Bible daily and find so much there. I look forward to your new book. Keep up what you do. Many blessings to you on this Sunday morning.

    1. Honeypie says:

      Just reading what you said, Greg, made me feel a connection with you. Maybe that has something to do with your purpose. Could be really simple.

  54. Earl says:

    Morning prayer: that I may follow You more nearly, love You more dearly and see You more clearly.

    1. Shabbat shalom!

      Love God above all, and love your neighbor as yourself.

      HE that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.

      Keep doing what you do.

    2. Abby says:

      Oh, that’s so cool, Earl! I’m going to start using that as my morning prayer as well. Thanks for posting!

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