Doing The Will of God
Let's face it... there's a bunch of things that us church-y say that don't make a lot of sense outside of the Christian bubble. But there's one that is kind of standing out to me right this second: Doing the will of God.
As in: "I just want to do the will of God," "I want God's will for my life," or "I'm seeking God's will in this."
If you have ever wondered what that phrase actually meant... or if you have wondered if you were doing God's will... here's a bit of a primer on that phrase that might help a bit.
Most of us who have used that phrase before have done so with this basic premise undergirding whatever it is we are addressing when we say it: We want to know that we are making the right decisions, doing the right things, moving in the right direction.
And because many of us also want to believe that whatever the right thing is, it is also part of a divine plan for our life, we want our decisions to line up with that plan.
So we often find ourselves standing at the various crossroads in our life, doing everything we can to figure out if what we are about to do is God's will for us. We pray, we consult trusted guides, and we look for signs and symbols to show us the way.
We also worry at times---even to distraction. We beat ourselves up for not being able to figure things out. We become paralyzed because we are afraid of making the wrong move, and then finding ourselves outside of God's will, which is a phrase I've fretted over more than once in my life.
But what if doing the will of God had very little at all to do with the actual decisions that we wrestle with? What if doing the will of God happened long before we reached the crossroads moments?
Consider this bit of wisdom from Fr. Richard Rohr:
The heartfelt desire to do the will of God is, in fact, the truest will of God. At that point, God has won, and the ego has lost, and your prayer has already been answered.
Rohr's assertion is quite simply that the way you know whether you are doing the will of God is when you desire to do the will of God. This is true because the moment you decide to go all-in on desiring God's will be done in your life, God gets what God wants.
As you step forward from that moment you can do so in peace, knowing that whatever happens next will be undergirded by that desire, come what may.
You might very well make a decision at that point that you have to walk back. You could also choose the wrong road at the crossroads moment. After all, we have a limited view of the world, and we can't see into the future.
But our desiring God's will is what God ultimately desires for us. In fact, this is God's will for us---that we long to do God's will. That longing will give us the peace to know that no matter what happens, we are held in God's great love, and grace.
If you are struggling today to know the way forward... If you wonder what God's will might be for your life... know that the first and most important step on that road is to desire with all of your heart to do the will of God... and let that be enough for the moment.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.