Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Road We Were Forced Onto

It was one of the top ten interviewing questions you were supposed to be ready for when you got out of high school.

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

You were supposed to present a picture in which you were a valued employee of their company, or had used your degree from their college to change the world.

But many students were taught to believe that they had to know where they were going in ten years, or twenty, or thirty.

How many of us are living the dream we had whipped up when we were teenagers?

How many of us wish things had gone our way, or. . .

How many of us are glad that they had not?

A nice middle-aged couple in my neighborhood was pushed into early retirement this year. They felt the “signs” were saying it was time to go. They put up a “for sale” sign and drove off to the south to find a new dream home.

Something told me that, in spite of the terrible market, things would go well for them.

Today they arrived home, declaring they had found a beautiful house and their present one had sold. I said, “It could not have happened to better people.”

I believed things would go well for them because they had a great attitude. I do not know these people very well and so do not know their religious inclinations, but their actions showed they were putting themselves in God’s hands. They lost their jobs and did not panic. They stayed home for a few months, making their house and yard beautiful, and came to a decision.

Some people call this “going with the flow”. But it takes a special person to really do that, especially when they have been taught all their lives to plan, plan, plan for the future.

When you feel God is taking your life into a different direction, you have to believe He knows what he is doing. “Where God closes a door, he opens a window,” my parents used to say.

When I get sick or injured, I usually wind up reading a good book. “Boy, if I hadn’t gotten sick (or hurt my leg, etc.), I would never have taken the time to read that,” I say to myself.

When I was unable to find a job in the field of Psychology, I took one in teaching. That opened up a whole new vista to me, and within a year I had become a stay-at-home mother on her way to homeschooling. Who knows what would have happened if I had landed a hot job on the fast track. I probably would not be sitting here writing about The Divine Gift of Motherhood.

Whenever people ask me about my plans for the future, I reply that I do not know what God has in store for me. Will I ever go back to school? Will I ever get a salaried position? Will I ever publish my (at present) unfinished books? Will I ever have another child? Only God knows. He has a plan for me, and He has a plan for you.

When you try to force your will on His plan, only unhappiness can follow. Your road will be filled with potholes and traffic jams. If you learn to listen to His voice, you will know if you are on the path he has chosen for you.

“And this will we do, if God permit.”
Hebrews 6:3

Painting “The Angelus” by Jean-Francois Millet

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