A question many of us ask is how do we know God’s will for us? How do we discover our mission, what God wants us to do to make this world better?
One way is to discover the patterns of God’s movement and grace in our life.
God works in patterns, and as we discover this pattern, we see emerging the story of our life. As author Daniel Pink said, now more than ever the narrative is important.
“We compress years of experience, thought and emotion into a few compact narratives… But [narratives have] become more prevalent, and perhaps more urgent, in a time of abundance, when many of us are freer to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose.”
It is in discovering—or rediscovering—our story, our narrative that we get to know God’s will and mission for us, what he wants us to do to make this world better.
The autobiography of Jungian psycho-spiritual author and guru, Robert Johnson, “Balancing Heaven and Earth,” has one striking image of how our story comes together. He describes the many different “slender threads” of his life which did not seem to make sense.
But in God’s time, He pulls all of these together to reveal the magnificent tapestry that is our life—God’s design and plan from the beginning. Not simply what He wants us to do to make this world better, but more deeply why He sent us into the world and the “guarantee” of success.
This is what the first parable of the Kingdom of God in today’s gospel tells us—“… as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day, and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”
This is a firm conviction of faith that “what God has begun, he will bring to completion.” This is the fulfillment of our prayer, “The Our Father,” in parable form. What we pray so often, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Years ago I was part of a team that helped start a major project in one of the organizations where I was on the board. We were support to the project team that designed and implemented the program. It was a major overhaul of the system and as the project was taking off, all sorts of conflicting interests surfaced.
Sometimes—maybe often enough—success has a way of making us lose perspective, and it induces greed. After laying the right and strong foundation, meeting all performance indicators and goals, the project team was booted out.
The key project team leaders talked to me, the priest in the team, to ventilate their pain and sense of being betrayed. I remember what they told me in the end, “Father, may hustisya po ang Diyos.”
What they began did bear fruit. A decade after they started the program, their project produced one of the strongest brands in the industry, and in the next decade and to this day they rose to being the dominant brand, for the most part occupying top spot.
“May hustisya ang Diyos.” It will all come together, the blood, sweat and tears. The slender threads will form a magnificent tapestry. All in God’s time it will come together and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We must have this faith, not a cop-out faith that God’s justice will prevail, but one that inspires and gives us courage to act in building God’s Kingdom here through a life lived in mission. This makes us stay the course no matter the challenges and adversarial situations.
The courage to act comes from the heart. We think, analyze, process and, in the end, the choice to act comes from the heart—an informed choice. Courage thinks, but above all feels—from the heart, the old French, corage for “heart, the innermost feelings.”
Courage to act is to do the little things with faith, that it is what it takes to do what God wants us to do—the tiny mustard seed that becomes the largest shrub of many uses to so many.
In the 1970s to the ’80s, Bjorn Borg dominated tennis and became one of the greatest players of the sport. After winning six French Open and five consecutive Wimbledon, becoming the first player to win 11 Grand Slam titles, he was asked to what did he attribute his brilliance and greatness.
He said as a young player he got on the train early every single day to go to the city, to practice and train. After briefly describing the rigor of training, he repeated, seemingly citing it as his “secret to success”—“I got on the train.” Every single day, he got on the train.
The twin secrets of the Kingdom of God: the conviction that it will all come together according to God’s plan—“May hustisya ang Diyos”—and the courage to act, from the heart, doing the little things—those slender threads of your life that create the magnificent tapestry that keeps us in awe because God is faithful, just and loving. —CONTRIBUTED