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The Best Laid Plans

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Momma, I don’t feel so good.”

Those dreaded words always send a flurry of thoughts running through my mind, especially when uttered on a weekday morning. Out comes the thermometer, and when the inevitable 100.8 degrees registers on the screen, my husband and I start quickly recalculating our plans for the day. Suddenly, our priorities become: Do we need to make a doctor appointment? Are the other kids ok? We need to let school know. And, the always critical, who is staying home from work with them today?

I admit, many times during this process I find myself grumbling the words, “Oh great, this is going to make my day and everything I planned impossible.”

We recently had a sickness rolling through my home, taking us all down, one after the other. After thinking all were finally on the mend, I was distressed to have yet another child fall ill. Taking a deep breath, I settled everyone in for a day of recovery, popped my ear buds in and pulled up a Word on Fire Show episode entitled, “Your Life is Not About You.”

“Here we go,” I thought. “I’m about to hear something that I need – but probably don’t want – to hear.”

And sure enough, Bishop Robert Barron didn’t mince words: “Your life is not about you. It’s your life, yes it is a gift from God, but it’s not about you. It’s an ingredient in an infinitely higher Will which wants to use your life for His purposes.”

He continued, “There’s a power, God’s power, the Holy Spirit, already at work in you that can do infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Your plans, your hopes, your projects are nothing compared to what God wants to accomplish through you. Paul’s point: learn to surrender to it.” (Ep. 248, Sept. 7, 2020)

While Bishop Barron’s words applied to my immediate situation, they also apply much more broadly to my vocation as a mother, a wife and even as an editor. I also thought about those words in the context of this issue of the magazine, which is dedicated to living out your vocation. Our lives are not about the things over which we want to maintain control, they are about living the life God wants for us.

Trusting in God and living out our vocations doesn’t mean things will be easy; but it does mean that if we earnestly and prayerfully surrender to God’s Will, then greater things than we could ever imagine will happen. Sometimes those things are as small as easing a child’s fever-induced body aches with snuggles or volunteering to stay home so a spouse can manage urgent needs at work, and other times they are as big as discerning and answering a vocational call to move 850 miles from home to build a Catholic magazine.

Living out our vocations may not allow us to fulfill our own selfish desires, but it means that we are living out the definite purpose for which God created us. Those people featured in this issue of The Catholic Telegraph learned to surrender to God, and He is using them to accomplish amazing work in fulfilling His Will on earth. Let us continue to pray that we may have the grace to do the same.


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