I always find it so interesting to listen to others speak of God’s Will. There are some who really feel as though God has a definite plan for their lives and it is their job to figure it out and then live it. Perhaps this is true, but I am not of that school of thought. I feel that if God had a definitive path that he wanted me to follow then 1) what would become of my free will, and 2) is it really fair that I have to spend my life trying to decode what it is?
1) You may argue that I still have free will because I could choose to follow his will or turn from it, but that is not how I define free will. I think that God loves us far too much for that. We are not like the angels where we have one shot…we have our entire lives to turn toward or turn away and with each ‘turn away’ we then have another invitation to ‘turn toward’ him. Just as Jesus searched for the Lost Sheep, he will look for us whenever we get ‘lost’ in our own wills.
2) I don’t believe that God wants us to expend energy in trying to ‘figure out’ what he wants us to do with our lives. It isn’t like the game where we get ‘warmer’ when we’re close and ‘colder’ when we move away. God isn’t like that….he’s traveling with us, right? And there are so many more worthy ways to use our resources. Energy spent on trying to ‘figure God out’ is wasted energy because first, it is impossible, rather like an ant trying to explain gravity, and second, it puts the focus on us rather than God and that is a trap, a well-disguised inflation of ego.
So then, what do I really believe when it comes to discussing God’s Will? I think that it is really quite simple…God’s Will is that we love him and in turn love others. It doesn’t matter if I am a garbage collector or nuclear physicist, a home-maker or a surgeon, the laity or the clergy, how I choose to live my life is ok with God, and even if I make some bad choices, choices that hurt others or myself, he is there in the muck always inviting me to ‘wash clean’. Does he want me to work to help others? Yes. Does he need me to help others? Not really. Does helping others help me? Yes, definitely.
“Unless you become like little children…” There is a lifetime of wisdom in that sentence and it is worth meditating on frequently. We sometimes get so caught up in trying to do the right thing that we lose sight of the important thing. We can read, study, discuss, reflect, and even pray, but if we fail to imitate, then we have still have more work to do. Hosea 6:6 – “For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice”.
My New Year’s Resolutions: Oh I could list hundreds that I may or may not keep, but this year here they are:
To be a bit kinder
To be a bit gentler
To be a better listener
To smile more often
To understand more
And to ‘be made perfect (compassionate) as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Mt 5:48)