"Jamais Assez Loin" are ones I learned and memorized when I was taking a French music course in college: “Tous les trains, tous les bateaux, tous les avions ne m'emmèneront jamais assez loin” which basically translates to all of the trains, all of the boats, all of the planes can never take me far enough away.
Sometimes it would be nice to get away not just from the daily grind, but from the trappings, worries, quarks, and inner workings of my daily mind. I’ve been reading
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton and have been reminded over and over that whether we’re in the middle of a city in the middle of a crowd or living as a monk in a cloistered monastery, we’re still who we are wherever we are.
In some ways this is comforting and in other ways disturbing. I’m grateful that regardless of my circumstances and surroundings inside and out that God insists on making His home within me, within each one of us. Unfortunately, it also means that I carry with me a slew of not-so-great experiences and memories, at least a handful of hereditary traits from the rather shallow end of the gene pool, and some hard habits to break in terms of thinking and behavior.
As a recovering perfectionist (when it comes to some things), I still find my many imperfections and certainly my sinfulness to be painful at times. I’ll admit I’ve sometimes thought it would be nice not to be so human, so inclined to make a multitude of mistakes, but I also know I wouldn’t be as aware of my deep need and desire for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace.
Lord, help us to embrace the frail human qualities You have given us, knowing that You also give us the grace, strength, and wisdom to choose that which is life-giving, edifying, and eternal, over that which is deathly, destructive, and temporary. Keep us focused on You above everyone and everything else in our lives, so that we may continue to hear and heed Your still small voice. Amen.