Wednesday, October 27, 2021

God does not have a plan for your life. . .

Often I encounter individuals who are searching for God's plan for their lives.  They are surely sincere but mistaken.  The plan for their lives is not like some hidden treasure map that holds a surprise ending for those smart enough to follow the cues in Word and life that God has planted.  Yet that is exactly how it seems.  The future is a mystery that God has not disclosed but if you are wise enough, patient enough, and follow the clues, you will crack the mystery and figure out what God wants you to do in life, who He wants you to marry, and anything else you want to know.  At least that is how the thought goes.

Sadly, the Word of God is not as important in this scenario as are the clues themselves.  The words of St. Paul ring true today.  Jews demands signs and Greeks seek wisdom.  We, apparently, have embodied both.  We want signs.  We want reason.  We want to know the future so we will not be surprised, so that we can predict tomorrow, and so that we might control the outcome.  And best of all, if it is not to our liking or the plan fails in any way, God is responsible.  We are not.  If the job turns out to be a dead end or the spouse of our dreams turns out to be dud, we are not accountable.  We were only following God's clues toward God's own plan.

The reality is that God's plan is always salvific.  His plan is Christ, the Savior whose saving life, death, and resurrection were laid down even before the foundation of the world.  I am not at all sure God cares all that much what jobs we do as long as the employment is honorable and we glorify Him in all that we do.  I am not at all sure God cares who we would marry as long as our spouse shares the faith, will be faithful, will be a good parent to our children, and is someone we can trust.  Apart from that, what else matters?

I wish I could say that we all cared as much about these things as did the Lord.  We care more about how much we earn and whether we enjoy doing our jobs than whether or not they are honorable and we glorify God in the doing of these jobs.  We care more about the looks of our spouse and whether they make us happy or are sexy than if they share the faith we hold and are people of good character.  I fear that our preoccupation with God's plan is not really a way of pursuing what we want and who we want and getting God's approval when our pursuit is of such things is for, well, less than godly reasons.  

Okay.  Maybe the title is a little overkill.  My purpose is not to divorce God from our choices and the plans we make but to remember that gives work honor is not the job but how we do it and why we do it.  The point of it is not to search the world over for the perfect person who will make us happy, but to learn to be happy loving and sacrificing for another -- as Christ has loved us -- seeking in all we are and do to emulate in our marriage the love betwixt Christ and His Church.  This is the most profound way that our daily lives are connected to Christ -- a people born anew in baptism living out in their daily lives the vocation given us by water and the Spirit.  If we pursued this with at least the vigor with which we pursue the secret plan, just maybe we might find a bit more of the elusive contentment God intends.

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

I cannot imagine how differently the Church would appear to the world if we all believed this. Instead of scurrying here and there, focusing on God’s Plan, we ought to be reading Scripture, in which we find God’s Will. I grew up believing God’s Will was lost, and I had to find it. There is far more than enough to keep us busy doing what is plainly stated in Scripture for us to do. Adventures in missing the point for most of us…