The other night, I woke to a phone call around midnight and then I couldn’t get back to sleep. This could have been due to the humidity, which isn’t yet bad enough to warrant turning on the A/C unit, but is to the point where even having several fans going doesn’t really make a dent.
Since I couldn’t go back to sleep, I began to talk to God, as I had several things on my mind. Around two hours later, the following contemplation come to mind:
Are we careful or careless in our choices that we make?
Are we selfish in our actions or are the intentions really to better everyone?
Do we masquerade ourselves through our actions?
These questions arose because I have had people tell me, “Oh, hope you get that promotion” or “I hope you do this or get that…” However, what is best for me is w hat God wants for me. I pray for things, I do. But who knows what is best for you or me? God.
So, we must look at the various perspectives. If you get that promotion, would you be home more and spend less family time, when they need you the most? Or, if your friends hoped you would get the winning lottery ticket, and you won, would you be greedy or give some away? Would certain things that our friends want for us actually make us the best people we should be?
While praying, are we understanding that it is a process, just as Jesus taught us in the Our Father in Matthew 6, “…your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (NRSV-CE) or when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane in obedience, asking, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want,” (NRSVCE).
We need proper discernment when it comes to making our life choices and in our deep prayerful times. We need to listen. Christ must take over, not like an automaton, but in the way as St. Paul put it “…and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2: 20, NRSVCE) and, as Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). A yoke isn’t an individual tool, but is devised to be worked by pairs.
We have free will; however, we must listen to God and allow him to guide us and direct us, much like a (spiritual and physical) navigational system. If you ignore the directions, you could end up getting lost or taking a longer path. By not just proclaiming Jesus is Lord, but the Lord over your life… obedience has a self-sacrificing approach to it.
Remember in the Gospel of Matthew when Peter asked Jesus to join him by walking on water. This can be like most of us — we either get prideful and think we can do it ourselves, or doubtful and then fall. Much like Peter, who began to sink after he lost focus on Jesus, then once again cried out, “Save me.”
As St. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NRSVCE). We must keep in this in our minds and in our hearts as we pray and make our daily choices.