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I hear it from people of all faiths, from various worldviews and religious traditions.  We all seem to want God’s will, by whatever name we may call it.  Admittedly, some hold a more fatalistic outlook and say things like, “If it’s meant to be…”  (Do you ever wonder who it is that’s doing the “meaning?”)  Others see a more direct correlation between our actions, past or present, and what happens to us.  This is karma.

But what I want to consider is not what lies behind us, but what we’re seeking on the path ahead.  Like I said, we all seem to want God’s will.  We believe that’s best, don’t we, because we really do believe God is good.  And who wouldn’t want what’s best for ourselves?  We want to know who to marry, where to live, and what career to choose.

I’ve asked God many, many times, in many situations.  Sometimes I’ve gotten clear answers.  Other times I’ve heard nothing and did what seemed best.  What I really want is a blueprint.  I want clear instructions so I can follow them.  Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it, Lord.  Lay out the plan for my life.

Lately I’ve been thinking, though, that God’s plan is not detected so much in the blueprint as in the footprints.  How often have I looked back and realized, “Oh, so that’s what You were doing!”  I was in His will all along and didn’t even know it.  But now, looking back, I can see where I’ve been, where He’s taken me.  And it makes sense.

Should I have known sooner?  Could I have?  I think faith realizes that.  After all, we’re not asked to believe in the plan; we’re asked to believe in Him.  If I trust that He loves me, even if the journey is unpleasant, I know He will bring about good things.  And that good includes me, but is not exclusive to my own interests.  That is better than good.

I like looking back every now and again.  It makes sense of the present, and I can see that God makes sense out of the senseless, and makes the pain worth it when we see its outcome.  And the best part?  It helps me trust Him for the future.

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