The Journey Forward

So much has changed in my life since the last time I used this blog. Here I am, at the cusp of another great adventure, staring into the maw of doctoral program applications, GRE preparation, and the tingling anticipation that comes with knowing that the future is entirely out of my hands.

A year ago, I was engaged to be married. I was intending to settle into a quiet life, to fade from the front lines. I thought that I had found the road God wanted me on, and that this time, the doors in front of me would stay open.

I was wrong.

And I have never been happier to be wrong.

It turns out that the old adage about telling God your plans is true. And sometimes, I think I must amuse God more than anyone else does, because I dearly love to plan, to worry, to plot, to scheme. I don’t know how to relinquish control. I fight Him every single step of the way like a nap-deprived toddler in the candy aisle. I want it. I don’t know what it is, but I want it, and I want it NOW!

But God has never let me settle for less than He desires for me. He has dragged me, kicking and screaming, through all the wrong turns I have made. God doesn’t just close doors in my life. He slams them, nails boards across them, and sticks a chair under the knob. He sends angels to lurk on the other side with tranquilizers just in case I get uppity. And He puts a big piece of spiritual cake under a neon sign in front of the door He actually wants me to go though.

I’ve never stood a chance.

And yes, I have been hurt in the process. But it was the hand that touched the hot stove that caused the burn, not the hand that pulled it away. Every ounce of suffering in my life has been because I was impatient with God, stubborn, and frankly, just plain rebellious.

I have learned something these past few months of Grad School. And I know that it’s a lesson I’m going to keep having to re-learn, but all the same, I have learned it for now: God’s Will will be done. No matter what. And this isn’t fatalism. I have the ability to choose, if only to choose the easy way or the hard way. But the Hound of Heaven is one heck of a sheepdog, and it’s probably a lot better for me if I just try to do things right the first time.

So, moving forward, I’m going to try even harder to let God lead me, and not to fight Him on every little thing just because I can.

I truly believe that He has amazing things in store, not just for me, but for every single one of you.

Let Him do His thing.

Or, you know, you could actually HELP Him do it. That’s probably a better option.

That was a nice vacation. Let’s get back on the road.

-E.G. Norton

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Accepting Transformation

You can choose to take the plunge, or sit on the sidelines forever and wonder. (via Travel Journals)

You can choose to take the plunge, or sit on the sidelines forever and wonder.
(via Travel Journals)

Perhaps the most difficult part of our journey down the path to the Ideal Self God created us to be is accepting that we need to let go of certain things. Often, we can recognize the benefits of relinquishing our pasts. . . perhaps we have been plagued by repetitive and lingering sins which we clearly see as harmful.

Other times, it is not so cut and dried. We cling to our past behaviors because they seem integral to who we are as individuals. We do not know how to be us without them, and the fear of becoming something other than who we have known ourselves to be is petrifying.

But it is this very transformation that is the most important if we are to become who we were created to be. There can be no progression in our journey if we do not grow in physical health, mental strength, emotional integrity, and spiritual awakening. And none of these goals can be met without first surrendering ourselves to God’s Will.

This season of Easter, this period of rebirth, is the perfect time to embrace this transformation. It is no easy task, relinquishing the chains which hold us back. But the benefits of breaking free from our self-imposed limits greatly outweigh the suffering and inconvenience caused by abandoning our old selves in the grave and rising anew. As we grow and learn and develop, we not only move closer to God (which is in itself the most worthy end), but we also find ourselves suddenly and gloriously contented. It is as though the fears that stopped us were hardly there at all.

How often do we worry over something, only to find later that our loving and merciful Father had already provided for us everything we needed… and often, more? How much greater then, are the rewards for letting go of our favorite little vices (or even misplaced love in good things that overtake our love for God) and giving all our time and attention to living out our missions? Indeed, the graces granted to one who achieves this are so great that it almost causes that one to combust with joy and love!

Bear in mind that, even when we have been transformed, we are not safe from temptation. In fact, often the forces of darkness rail against us harder once we allow God to bring us to this new level in our development. We must be ever watchful… and yet, never give in to fear. There is no need. The forces of Heaven are with us, and we are made strong in Faith, so why be afraid of those who can only spout illusion and hot wind? In the end, we know the ending of the story. All we must do is not let evil have a foothold in our hearts, lest we find ourselves dismayed and on a darker road.

So relax, and just let go of whatever is keeping you from God. This is the time. Our loving Father longs for you. Draw nearer to Him, and do not be afraid to love Him with all that you have.

It is, after all, what you were created for.

-E.G. Norton