I am learning it again, one of those lessons that I think I know (as in, “I got it Lord, now you can stop”) but then I’m reminded that I am due for a serious ‘refresher’ course. And the lesson is this: God’s specific will and plan for my life will not be given beforehand. And in trying to discern it, I fall into the trap of perfection: that I must be whole, perfect, arrived, etc., before God will ever use me or reveal to me his plan. Nope. Sorry.
I am learning, once again through God’s disturbing grace, only those who have fallen down, can ever truly know what “up” is; only those who have failed miserably can ever truly know what “success” looks like; and only those who are cracked and wounded can ever really know what healing truly is.
And part of this truth involves something I have struggled with for over 25 years – namely, God’s will for my life. I am learning something that I want to share with you: forget about ‘knowing’ God’s will for your life. Very few people in this world, in the Sacred Scriptures, or those who have come before us, have ever received the full blue print plan for their lives…much less even the 5 year plan! So give it up.
Now, there are some things about God’s will I am certain of: that I stay clean and sober; that I pray and seek God; that I practice love and compassion; that I do no harm to any living creature. Those I know. What I am speaking of ‘letting go’ of is the actual plan, the down-to-the-specifics.
Example: God called a man and woman named Abram and Sarai, to pack up everything (their entire lives) and to set out to a strange land! God did not say to them, “so, here’s your itinerary, here is where you will stop, here is what you will do, here is the specific plan.” Nope. And do you really think if Abram knew he was going to have his named changed through trial, error and circumstance, do you really think he would have done it? OK, Abram, I’m going to finally give you a son in your old age, then I’m going to ask you to murder him. Right God. I’ll jump right on doing that (God’s will).”
Knowing can in certain ways be deadly, because too much knowledge makes us too self-reliant (and we are called to be God-reliant) or we will be filled with dread and run from God’s loving will.
So instead Abram and Sarai listen to God in that moment; they listen to their God say, “pack your bags, start walking and trust Me! Stay close to Me so that when the next thing occurs you will be intimate enough with Me that trusting Me and listening to what I say and following that word will be easier.” Continue reading