In discerning God’s will, neither scruples nor a careless “whatever goes” attitude is helpful. God is close and wants to reveal himself to each of us. Discerning God’s story for us involves a lot of listening, but that’s because we are usually spiritually hard of hearing. God not only wants to communicate his love and his plan for us, he wants to work out that plan with our full participation, which includes our making choices. Our full participation doesn’t, however, mean that we can see the whole picture: seeing the full story is a surprise that awaits us in heaven. (Read Newman’s “I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created” for Blessed John Henry Newman’s take on this.) Instead, God’s story for us unfolds step by step, giving us what we need to know to do his will, to live his dream for us.
There are many times when I’ve been grateful for how God has led me through a particular circumstance, and afterwards I see how it was really important for me to go through. But I’m really glad I didn’t know all of what was involved ahead of time, because I know I would have worried so much about it that my fear would probably have made me resist God’s plan for me. I might not have truly believed that God’s grace would be there for me to help me.
God gives us the grace to live the present moment, not the future. For me, worrying ahead of time can lead to fear and resistance to God’s grace. And then the gifts and the growth that could come from that experience would be lost.
Most likely, we will not fully understand all of God’s plan for us while we’re here on earth. The best choice and the most important attitude we have is to seek God’s will. As we figure out what that means, and as our heart is purified to ignore other distractions and truly seek God’s will, God can work with our faltering steps.
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Prayer Corner: Pray with Your Dreams
Have you ever prayed about your dreams? Take a few moments and journal:
- What were your childhood dreams? What did you picture yourself doing when you were younger? How did you see yourself living your life?
- What are your dreams now?
Bring this list of dreams to prayer and share them with God. Take a few moments to offer each dream individually to God.
After your prayer, how do you feel about your dreams for your life?