Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

May I Walk with You? The Future

Recently I have been pondering what I will do with the rest of my life and part of that is asking Jesus what he would like me to do. While on a recent trip to the Upper Peninsula I went confession to Father Mike. At the end of that brief encounter, I thanked him for being there. His response was simple and direct, “I’m just doing God’s will.” While I received the grace of being forgiven and being made right with God, the thing that most sticks with me was that brief comment as I shook his hand. “I’m just doing God’s will.”
I think back on something Thomas Merton once wrote about not being uncertain that he was doing God’s will, but that he had the confidence that whatever he was doing, he hoped it was what God had in store for him. He was confident that as long as he desired to do the will of God that God would bless his activity and his work would be blessed. Not long after that he tragically died while on tour. It seems that while he was showering, an electric fan sparked, and he died of electrocution.
There always seems to be great uncertainty when trying to discern the will of God for me. However, as I look back on my life it seems easy to see that God has been at work and I am quite certain that since I gave my life to him a long time ago that I have been doing his will, I hope.
While I would like to absolutely certain I am doing his will, recently I read a scripture that startled me and yet gave me some peace. James 4:14 says, “You have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” Wow! That was quite humbling. Just to think that no matter how important I may think I am, I’m really not. I continue to believe that God has a plan for every life and that we have been chosen by God for a task that no one else can do quite as good as us. That brings us to vocations.
While we are all generically called to be in relationship with Jesus, to live as he taught, following his commands, how we flesh that out is very different for us as individuals. How we manifest that relationship is called our vocation. Some of us are called to religious life, some to be clergy, some to marriage, some to living a consecrated life, some to being single, and some to living and working as Christians in the world and workplace. Most are called to a combination of many vocations.
I believe that whatever God calls you to, he will give you the grace and strength to complete his will. It is, however, important to spend some time focusing on and praying that God will give us the desire and lead us to the particular plan he has for us. As the hymn says, “What do you ask of me, Lord? How do you want me to serve you?”, even if I am just a puff of smoke? “I might only be a puff of smoke, Jesus, but I am your puff of smoke!”
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you his peace.”

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