Monday, June 8, 2015

A Master Plan

"An Ordinary Day"
- such a glorious morning-

Over my many years of ordained ministry I have had numerous occasions to meet with people who came to me with a sense that “God” was calling them to be a priest.  In their heart of hearts they truly believed that their vocation to the ministry was all part of some “master plan” that God had for their lives. While I certainly respected what these people were saying to me, I never agreed with it.

First of all my image of “God” is not some sort of Superhuman Being who works out of the great control room in the sky. I don’t think of “God” as someone who sits at a desk with blueprints for the whole world in hand, pushing buttons to make things happen according to plan not only for the entire cosmos but for the individual lives of every single individual.

I don’t believe that God has a master plan for any of us and I certainly do not believe that everything happens according to that plan. Sickness, suffering, war, disease, disaster- hardly what God has designed to happen to us.

There is however another very practical danger inherent when you buy into the “master plan” idea. If you are always looking for what God has “planned” for your future, you may well forget about where you are in the present.

Priest and author, Barbara Brown Taylor offers this insight:

One common problem for people who believe that
God has a particular job in mind for them
is that it is almost never the job they are presently doing.
This means that those who are busiest trying to figure out God’s purpose for their lives
are often the least purposeful about the work they are already doing.

I find great truth and wisdom in this insight. From my experience, people who talk about God’s plan for their lives are oftentimes unsatisfied or bored with the life they are currently living, and so they turn to dreams of some bigger and better future that they think “God” may have in mind for them: “God wants me to be a priest, God wants me to get a better job where I can make more money.”   I just don’t believe this is true.

However, I do believe that “God” abides in all that happens. God is the Holy Presence, the Abiding energy of Love deeply at the core of the cosmos, intimately present to us in our own individual everyday lives.

And so the vocation of every human being is not to discern God’s master plan but to be “purposefully” and “intentionally” aware of God’s ever-abiding presence right in the place where we find our feet are planted when we wake up every morning and step upon the ground where we live.

It’s Monday morning, and I have no thought of where God wants me to be as I begin a new day, a new week. I am where I am and God is right “smack-dab” in the mix of it all.

The Buddha once taught:

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.

This is what I am being called to do this day- that’s what we are all being called to do every day.

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