Saturday, February 13, 2016

God loves you and has a plan for your life

When I went to college (Houghton College in the southern-tier of New York State), I lived in a religious culture that was very certain about who God was and how God operated. Very often I heard, “God loves you and has a plan for your life!” (one of the "Four spiritual laws"). At times this was a comforting thought—after all, wouldn’t it be nice if someone else mapped out my life for me and made sure everything worked according to plan?

But over the years I’ve discovered that I often mistook my own desires for God's plan. I eventually came to appreciate God’s lack of pushiness. Yes, God loves me. And, yes, God has a plan, but it’s a huge plan, one that encompasses the entire universe. God invites me to cooperate with that plan, God "invites me to join the party" - as it were. But in order to participate in God’s big plan, I have to make choices every day—about the kind of person I want to be, about the priorities I keep, about the loves I nurture.

I no longer believe that there’s a connect-the-dots plan for David's life. Every day, David has options from among which he may choose; some are better than others. Yet, some are obviously wrong and harmful, but many are indeed good. When I learn to distinguish what is the best of the good, that’s called growth.

What’s my purpose? To grow into my God-created potential to love. That happens as I make decisions, but it involves more than that. I become my best self as I become more intimately engaged with God. So, I guess, it’s really not about a plan; it’s about a relationship.

-- based on Isaiah 43:1-7

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