It’s been said, we can live the life we love, or we can love the life we live. If God is truly omnipresent, and He is, and we can acknowledge Him in either choice where we find ourselves, then either “timeline” will bring about a blessed result – if it is His will.
Often when we are younger, we think in terms of the life we love. Everyone wants to be “something” – a concert pianist, a rock star, a professional sports figure, or some other grand thing. The point is the spotlight, fame, fortune, and so forth. Just about everyone seems to think he’s entitled to the limelight.
But eventually we face the reality that this does not always work out for most people, in spite of the “you can be or do anything you want” ideologies that are so popular. Unfortunately these new age ideas have also infiltrated much of Christian thought! In fact much of this is based on personal ego. It may not be what God’s best is for our soul and the progress of our salvation.
James seems to have some advice on this sort of will worship. “Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
Wow! That’s pretty strong! James calls this arrogance and evil!
When it comes to choices, I can recall my own younger days. I always thought I would follow the path of my interests, as far as a career, which would have been in the arts, either performing or visual. However, when the time came to launch out into the world, the “art gene” apparently shut down and the “patriotic and practical genes” took over. I wound up on a career path which, prior to age 18 I’d never have chosen: in the medical field, of all things, preceded by four years in the United States Air Force.
I chafed over that for a long time, feeling like a house divided against itself. I hated what I did for a living. I was, in my own view, not living the life I loved, so I was entitled to be unhappy and difficult to get along with. That went on for a good many years, suffering from the “grass is always greener in my dreamland syndrome”. There was pity party upon pity party.
Long story short – by and by I met the Lord Jesus Christ, and surrendered myself and my path to Him. I just wanted to be happy! I wasn’t handling any of it very well, so I prayed for divine intervention and the power of the Holy Spirit. Largely without even realizing it, I changed – although my line of work did not. However the change was so radical that I began to love the life I lived! People, including my boss, were asking me what had come over me, telling me that I had changed, and they were happy about it. It was that strong, but it wasn’t me willing the changes or struggling with my own personality. Jesus Christ took care of that for me! That’s grace!
As time went on and I kept surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit, and cultivating loving the life I was living, opportunities opened up for me to be able to do some very different and unusual things that were not opened to others. I won’t go into details here, but these became the best, most successful, energetic, and happiest years of my life. I was blessed with respect, new skills, new opportunities, new friends, and much more.
Things have not always been perfect. There have been some falls, stumbling, and speed bumps along the way. However, the curious thing is that the talents that I thought should be my living when I was younger, the Lord pointed in some different directions also. I’ve never become “famous” for any of it, but I have discovered that these things can bring far more joy when they’re used to serve others and bring brightness to their lives than they ever would by singing, “I Do It My Way.”
There are so many people who think that happiness comes or is guaranteed if they could just call all the shots in their life and dictate and declare what they think ought to be. But it often instead turns into a source of deep unhappiness, and a conflicted life where they never have any real contentment or happiness because they cannot let go of their will in the matter.
Righteousness, peace, and joy are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord grants these as He shows us how to love the life we’re living and empowers us to do so. Once we understand this, we discover that His ways are not our ways, but they are far better indeed than anything we could have ever dreamed or imagined!