Life is a continuous series of peaks and valleys, highs and lows, ups and downs. None of us can avoid the wilderness experience. There are times when our whole world seems cold and drab and empty. And it is precisely at these times when prayer becomes most important to us. We literally must pray our way out of the wilderness.
Even though we are frightened in our loneliness and frustrated in our efforts to achieve wholeness of life, we need not panic. We need to pray. We need to stop talking to ourselves in order to hear God our Father, talking to us.
In the desert of nothingness, life seems absurd, purposeless, and meaningless - like a big joke being played on us by some external force we do not understand. And the only way out, the only way to discover our life's true meaning and purpose, the only way to discover who we are and what we ought to do, is by listening...listening...listening to the Christ Spirit of God that dwells in us.
Said the psychiatrist to the patient, "I am not aware of your problem, so perhaps you should start at the beginning." Said the patient to the psychiatrist, "All right. In the beginning I created the heavens and the earth."
The patients problem is our problem too. It is the big stumbling block we encounter as we move through nothingness toward the light. It is the temptation to try to go it alone. It is the misguided notion that we can get through to the light independently, without God.
It is the temptation to rely on our own meager resources for an answer to the question of the "Why?" of life. It is the temptation to make little gods of ourselves. One must say to oneself, "All right, I did not create the heavens and the earth: This is God's creation. God is the Source of my life. God is the source of my life."
I need God to tell me who I am, and why I am, and where I am going with my life. I need God to lead me from the exit to nothingness iinto the light of his Grand Design.
I need God to tell me where my fulfillment lies.