Sunday, July 13, 2008
What Is God's Plan for You?
Reflections on God's purpose in their lives.
What's God's purpose for my life? It's a question most of us have wrestled with at some time or another.- usually when we are facing a major transition in our lives.In the Fox Faith DVD release "Moondance Alexander", misfit teen Moondance begins to find purpose in her life when she befriends a horse named Checkers and his rough-around-the-edges owner, Dante.
As Moondance begins to work with Checkers daily, Moondance begins to wonder if she and the Pinto have what it takes to actually compete in a prestigious equestrian event and win against all odds.Beliefnet asked our readers to describe a time when they tried to discern God's plan for their lives. Some readers believe God has shown them very clearly the direction for their lives, while others believe God doesn't always speak directly or control the paths our lives take.
Charting a New Direction
When I was in seminary I had a professor propose that among God's traits is omni-competence, that is the ability to deal with what is happening in spite of plans. I prefer that over knowing there is some pre-destined course (this may be why I also don't use a gps thing). I believe thoroughly that God trusts us to set out on our own and is with us as we make bad and good choices. Conversion happens when our path and God's converge, and we head off in a new, untried direction.The greatest quest is one where you set out not knowing for what you look, where you will go to find it, or who might help or hinder you along the way. Open mind, open heart, open possibiities is the way to go.
Listening to A Still, Small Voice
My real spiritual journey started in 1998 and hasn't stopped yet on this journey I call life. I remember feeling lost and broken and then I had this strange encounter with [these] words:
"You are not a broken winged sparrow, but an Eagle ready to soar."I love to think it was divine intervention that spoke out to me that night, since then I have been one to turn inward and reflect and to self love myself enough to continue this journey on my path of enlightment...I find myself growing spiritually each day, and never doubt it.
A Spiritual Voyage
In 1996, while on a sailboat trip across the Pacific, I began picking up the strangest feelings - feelings I had no way of understanding. Then we reached Fiji. From the onset of sailing along the shoreline, and throughout what ended up being an extended stay there, bizarre, what some would call paranormal experiences, literally blew me away. I came home thinking I was ready for a mental hospital and the white coats were coming. Fortunately, I finally confided in a friend who told me I'd had a spiritual awakening.
Where Growth Comes From
I find it hard to believe that God has a detailed plan for our lives. It seems to me that "God has a plan for my life" gives us an excuse for failure and someone to blame when life gets out of control.I believe that there is so much more beauty than ugly in our world and any number of life choices will bring us joy and growth. I believe that growth comes from exploring many possibilities and joy comes from making the best of those possibilities. So often our choices are NOT between "two evils" but rather between "two wonderful blessings."
Today my mind is clear and I feel great. I have trusted God and obeyed Him and I have not been disappointed. I have always felt that God has something GREAT for me to do while on this earth. Over the years, I have searched for what this great task might be. It wasn't time for me to know, yet.
I still do not know exactly what this great task is, but God spoke to me a couple of months ago. He was very clear telling me that if I obeyed him and made a specific change in my life, he would reveal my great purpose. I am at peace, awaiting his call.
Answering A (Complicated) Call
I am approaching one year since I officially made my United Methodist Conference aware that I am wanting to travel down the road of discernment and candidacy toward becoming an ordained pastor.A year ago, it was very easy to put this at the top of my list and go wherever God leads me. However, almost 7 months ago God sent a beautiful woman into my life who I had know in high school. She and I have been dating since then and I have come to love her and her three children.
There are so many complications: attending seminary while raising a family and fostering a new marriage, the itinerant nature of how Methodist pastors are placed in churches, the financial implications of attending seminary, and the list goes on.I am very torn right now. I feel called to the ministry and to marriage and family life. I know that thousands of people have done this before me; but I haven't done it myself.