DO you have plans, dreams, and desires for the future unfolding before you? And yet, do you sense that “something” is near? That the signs of the times point toward great changes in the world, and that to move forward with your plans would be a contradiction?
The image the Lord gave me in prayer was that of a dotted line shooting through the air. It is a symbol of the direction of your life. God sends you into this world on a course or trajectory. It is a path He intends for you to fulfill.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. (Jer 29:11)
The plan for you personally, and the world as a whole, is always for welfare. But that path can be thwarted by two things: personal sin and the sin of others. The good news is that…
God makes everything work for good for those who love Him. (Rom 8:28)
There is a broader perspective also, one that I have tried to give in these writings… that there is a third thing which can alter the direction of our lives from its trajectory: the extraordinary intervention of God.
Jesus tells us that when He comes again, people will still be going on as usual. Many will be on their trajectory, others will not.
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate and drank, they took husbands and wives, right up to the day Noah entered the ark… It was much the same in the days of Lot: they ate and drank, they bought and sold, they built and planted… It will be like that on the day the son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-33)
The context here, though, is that these previous generations ignored the warnings of imminent judgment due to unrepented sin. God was required to make an extraordinary intervention in their time. But it was not an inflexible deadline. In many instances, God relented when there was sufficient repentance or some intercessory souls standing in the gap, such as at Nineveh or Tekoa.
Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son (1 Kings 21:27-29).
Because of this possibility for the mitigation or removal of God’s judgment, His creative Spirit continued to inspire within souls plans for the future. I wrote several months ago that the time of grace we live in now is like an elastic band: It is being stretched to the point of breaking, and when it does, great travails will begin to unfold on the earth as the Lord’s restraining hand allows man to reap what he has sown. But each time someone prays for mercy on the world, the elastic loosens a little until the great sins of this generation begin to tighten it again.
What is time to God? Perhaps the pleading prayer of just one pure soul is enough to stay the hand of justice for another decade? And so, the Holy Spirit continues to inspire your life and mine upon the trajectory which He has designed us for, anticipating, so to speak, the patience of the Father. But the time of grace will expire, and the winds of change will blow hard enough, pushing the world into a completely new direction—and possibly your life and mine with it if we are alive at the time—altering our trajectories which seemed at the time to be God’s will. And that’s because it was.
LIVE IN THE NOW
Whether or not this extraordinary intervention of God will happen in our time, no one can say for absolutely sure (however, there is definitely a general sense throughout the world that this present evil cannot continue unabated.) So live now, in the present moment, fulfilling with joy the will of God as He reveals it to you, even if it involves grand plans. It is not “success,” but faithfulness He wants; not necessarily the completion of good projects, but the desire to fulfill His holy will along the way.
So the story goes…
A brother approached Saint Francis who was busy working in the garden and asked, “What would you do if you knew for certain that Christ is going to return tomorrow”?
“I would keep hoeing the garden,” he said.
The duty of the moment. The will of God. This is your food, waiting for you moment by moment upon the trajectory of your life.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” but added, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Wait and watch for the Kingdom to come, but seek only daily bread: God’s trajectory, as best you can see it for today. Do it with great love and joy, thanking Him for the gift of breath, life, and freedom.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)
And do not worry about tomorrow, for there are three things which remain: faith, hope, and love. Yes, hope—a future full of hope—always remains…
I shared with you in The Time of Transition a powerful experience I had which essentially called me to this unusual mission of blowing a trumpet of warning through these writings. I will continue to do so as long as the Holy Spirit inspires me and my spiritual director encourages me. It may surprise some of you to know that I do not spend much time studying the “end time” Scriptures nor reading the “prophets” hour after hour. I only write [or webcast] as the Spirit inspires, and often, what I am going to write only comes to me as I’m typing. Sometimes, I am learning as much in the writing as you are in the reading!
The point of this is to say that there can be a fine balance between being prepared and being anxious, between watching the signs of the times and living in the present moment, between heeding prophecies of the future and taking care of business for the day. Let us pray for one another that we will remain joyful, exuding the life of Christ, never falling into the grim despair which so often tugs at us when we consider the terrible sin which has grown like a cancer in our world (see Why Faith?).
Yes, there are more warnings to give as the moment of change draws nearer, because the world has fallen into a bitter night of sin and has yet to wake up. However, I believe the opportunity for a great evangelization lies before us. The world can only eat the saccharine offerings of Satan for so long before it will long for the true Meat and Vegetables of the Word of God and the Sacraments (see The Great Vacuum).
This evangelization is, in fact, what Christ is preparing us for.
First published December 3rd, 2007.
- A coming evangelization: The Final Confrontation
- On the candy being fed our youth today: The Great Vacuum
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