TO WANT WHAT GOD WANTS
Father Paul Boudreau, a priest of the Diocese in Connecticut, wrote an article in which he asked in his opening paragraph: “Do you think that someday they’re going to develop a technology that will answer the question-What is God’s will for me? That would be great! Or maybe a blog or chat room somewhere calledGod’s Will. Perhaps we would find a Will of God video on YouTube. God knows we’re looking everywhere, but it seems we’re left to our own initiative to look over our available resources.” In response, we remind ourselves that we have truly been gifted with resources in abundance-Scripture, the teachings of the church, a tradition of wisdom handed down through the ages to us, and our own personal history. We can resource these and recognize how the will of God has been done in the past and then know with certainty, it can definitely be done in the present as well as in our future.
Most of us wake up every morning with some kind of agenda we expect or at least hope to accomplish. How- ever, we know that we don’t always hit the mark. As they say, “The best laid plans can go awry.” And they do! We can usually account for some small victories happening by the end of the day, but we also see many opportunities when we fail to carry out our planned agendas. Then, when we don’t see the fulfillment of our plans, we tend to question God. But actually, God’s will has less to do with trying to figure out God’s mind and more to do with being alert and responsive to events and forces of life in the world.
Is God’s hand really over our lives as we repeatedly profess in our words, or are we just floating without a sail through the dark waters of life? It seems there’s often an opportunity to question that cloud that hides the reality of God’s presence. As a result, we find our- selves living in fear of the unknown and the unexpected. We ask, what has happened to our seem- ingly well-thought-out, solid plans? Friends abandon us-spouses leave us-children go astray-illness comes unexpectedly-jobs are lost or we are relocated. Those situations are not in our plan. Does God know these concerns and fears of ours?
We can feel overwhelmed with these and similar circumstances. We can find ourselves doubting that God is truly working on our behalf. We can think that
God only sticks around to see the good things we do. But that’s not how it goes! It’s actually in our failures that God is most working in our lives. If we look care- fully, we’ll see that most often, we find God’s will in bits and pieces like patches of a quilt that eventually make one beautiful whole. But we don’t see the whole until the end. Paul wrote to the Romans reminding them that God promised that his plan is at work at all times. He wrote, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him-those who have been called according to his purpose.” We need to realize God is building up a relationship of trust with us, helping us to understand the direction to take in carrying out his plan for us, giving us a better insight into God’s ways and building up in us the gift of perse- verance. There’s a lot we don’t know about God’s plan, but one thing we can be sure of-we can rely complete- ly on the promise of the Lord: “My grace is sufficient.”
Every day, we must try to wake up with a spirit of expectancy. With joy, we realize that God is preparing a glorious start to another day. In celebration of this gift, we pray, “Not my will today but yours be done.” And we acknowledge, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!” With this frame of mind, we resolve to stay alert and ready for God to show up in unexpected ways all through our day. We profess that God is in control, making all things work for our good, strengthening us in our weaknesses, growing us in greater faith, bringing grace and mercy to each new day and hearing and answering our prayers according to God’s loving agenda.
There was a farmer whose neighboring farm always seemed to have more plentiful crops than all those around him. Puzzled, his neighbors went over and asked the farmer how or why this happened year after year. The farmer admitted that he wasn’t a bit surprised at this occurrence. His simple explanation-he always had the kind of weather he wanted. Why was that, everyone questioned? “Because,” the famer answered, “I want whatever kind of weather God wants-and because I want that, God gives me the harvest I desire each year.”
How often we want God to want what we want! Consider the better approach-to want what God wants for us. Let us pray for this gift!