We have all asked the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” Perhaps it is living in a certain city, or marrying a certain person, or going to a particular school, or taking a certain job? These are all major life decisions that should not be taken lightly.
But is there really a certain place, person, or job for me? I believe God wants to help us with these decisions and to give us what is best for us, as well as what we wish for, if it is good. I have been guilty of looking too far in advance for the right thing when God is asking me to do the right thing right in front of me.
Nothing puts that to the test as much as driving on Bay Area roads. My biggest enemy on the road are tractor trailer drivers that try to run me down. All of the sudden, he or she puts the blinker on and starts to merge into my lane. I have to lay on my horn, or change lanes quickly, or speed up to avoid these monsters that could squash me like an aluminum can. I try to stay away at all costs. In each case I have managed to escape, because God’s angels are constantly watching out for me, to rescue me from all kinds of danger.
The real question then becomes, “How do I respond to something or someone that threatens me and my safety?” Or better yet, my sense of justice for myself and others? Let’s just say I’m not perfect by any means. None of us are. We try to do the best we can with God’s help. And we keep praying, going to church, and studying the Word, which enables us to live a good life out there in the real world.
But how do others see me when the heat is up? How do I respond? How did Jesus respond in the face of injustices and adversity? With love and forgiveness. He told us to pray for those that hate us and abuse us, and that our reward will be great in heaven. He taught us to love. If we could get that one thing right then maybe we could reach the world for Jesus.
So how do I treat the person next to me at the store? Or how do I treat my boss or coworkers? Do I talk about them behind their backs or put them down? Am I disrespectful and dismissive? How do I treat my son and my spouse? Do I treat them with dignity and respect? I wonder how I would respond if my behavior and attitude were tweeted to the world. Would I feel justified or ashamed?
So how does this relate to knowing God’s will for my life? Perhaps it means loving that unsafe and aggressive or distracted truck driver enough to let them go ahead of me. It could prevent an accident. And maybe, just maybe, it means we don’t have to have the last word in a conversation, or have an argument at all. Perhaps God is calling me to the mission field. But if I cannot reach my neighbor next door, why would he send me to South America, or Italy? Why would he send me anywhere?
The good news is that God is patient and merciful. He knows we will mess it up. And he is right there waiting for us to ask Him for help. He loves us and wants the best for us. He sent His Son to die for us so we could live forever in paradise with Him. We can’t earn or deserve it.
God has a tremendous plan for all of us. When we are faithful with the small tasks in life, God will place us where we need to be. Perhaps we are right smack dab in the middle of his will. Keep your wits about you and pay attention, because it’s most likely right in front of you.