A Resolution We All Can Make
On New Year’s Eve 2017, I found a series of short videos assembled as an Instagram “story.” The poster, a young woman attending college at a major university, spent a few minutes offering advice to her followers as they prepared to begin a new year.
She talked about not worrying, and about not dwelling on the past and/or things we can’t control. She said having goals was an admirable trait – and that realizing we will not achieve all of them also is admirable.
She never mentioned God; she never even mentioned faith. I found that sad – and worth of a personal resolution that I challenge all of you reading this to consider and, I hope, take up.
Join me in committing to share a very short passage from the Old Testament to people we interact with – especially young people … members of that generation commonly called Millennials.
The passage comes from the book of Proverbs:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
Maybe we should begin by mentioning a cliché that so many people, even those who are “spiritual but not religious,” have heard: “Let go and let God.” Or maybe we should mention beloved St. Padre Pio and his suggestion to “just pray and don’t worry.”
Our message will be the same. Despite what the world and our secular culture would have us believe, we … are … not … in … control.
Think back – without dwelling in the past! – about where you were 10 years ago; now, think about 20 years ago. Take a few minutes to retrace your path to this moment.
List (either mentally or literally, using pen and paper) all of the “stuff that came up” along the way. List those events that impacted you dramatically – but that you had no control over.
I suspect that you will come to realize how little control you really have.
Remember the easiest way to make God laugh: Tell Him YOUR plans….
Here, I am thrilled about where I am today; but it was not part of “my plan” 20 years ago – or even 10 years ago.
Without going into major detail, I spent about a quarter of the past two decades without a full-time job. I assure you that was never part of my plan. During one extended stint without a regular paycheck, I had some friends comment about my ability to handle the situation so well.
I responded quickly that I wasn’t handling it; God had it. Things did not go the way I had planned, but our Lord always provided what I needed. Quite often, that had nothing to do with what I wanted.
We will do well to share these concepts with others, especially our young people. Help them to recognize the concept of having faith in God, and you just might enable the Holy Spirit to “get a foot in the door.” He will take it from there.