October 12, 2016
Hey guys, it's me, Aidan. I'm the person Erin wrote about on Monday. The one who wanted to giant, flashing sign. The Rich Man in the parable with Lazarus.
Now, it's not wrong to ask for a "sign" of God's providence for us; many of the Psalms beg the Lord to show His face that we may be saved and enemies may be brought low, but when we tell Jesus just what that sign might be, when we start to define just how God is to provide for us, that's where we run into trouble.
When I was first starting as a campus missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach, I attended a week-long training and formation retreat. One night, the men were in adoration (in a chapel that looks like a more colorful version of the throne room of Gondor), I, like so many in the past, was asking God for a sign. How was I to give my testimony to all those freshmen without a profound story or miracle? How was I to bring others to Jesus when I couldn't tell them the exact moment when Christ broke into my heart?
I wanted a Story with a capital "S". But in defining it, I was limiting it. God broke through my deafness in a different way that night. A thought jumped into my mind, something along the lines of:
"You're asking for a big ol' miracle, something incontrovertible, something nobody can argue with so you feel good about yourself as a missionary. Isn't what I've already done for you a miracle? Aren't the small invitations I've used to keep you around until you were actually smart enough to take your faith into your own hands enough? Wasn't Jimmy's invitation to live in a committed household program enough? Wasn't Brandt's invitation to lead a small group enough? Wasn't Casey's invitation to become a campus missionary enough? Wasn't my call to marry Alyssa enough?"
The Lord wasn't accusing me, but he was..editing my story, so to speak. He was going through with a sharpie and a highlighter and crossing out all of my selfish bits and drawing out the Good bits. And then, because I love a good joke, he made my misguided search for a real good Story my actual story.
God's plans are better, simple as that. TAKE TIME to contemplate so you can see where they are at work. I haven't spent enough time in silence lately, and I can't wait to see what I've been missing.
Praised be Jesus Christ, the Author.