It is hard to see the light of Christ in an ever more broken world. And it seems that we say the same thing every year – things look bleak with all the problems in the political, social, and cultural norms changing so quickly and not always according to plan. Our plan, that is. And that’s what makes it so hard. We try and control our world, and in doing so, struggle against everyone else’s plan for themselves, for us, and for God. Oh yeah, that’s right, there’s God’s plan, too.
We are a people of action, after all. We like to be “in the know” for what’s going on. So when things are going great, we tell ourselves that we’re successful and all the things that are going right are attributable to what we do; we don’t give too much credit to others, and we tend to leave God out of the equation altogether. But when things are not so clear in the world or for ourselves, we tend to turn to God, and not in a positive way. We blame God for being distant, or altogether absent.
So what is “God’s Plan” for our lives?
We aren’t the first ones in history to find ourselves in this situation. The Bible is full of folks whose lives turned upside down, and when they didn’t trust or thank God, things went either further south. Think Saul, Israel’s first King, who tried to have David killed when he got all full of himself and paranoid. Or David, who decided that he wanted another man’s wife and had him killed in order to get her. Or Solomon, the one with a double portion of wisdom given by God who, in the end, eschewed all his wealth and wives and said it’s the day to day relationships and activities WITH one another that matter.
God wants us to be in community, plain and simple. So is that the plan? Moses (another person who often had trouble in life when he got too reliant on his own devices) mused on this in Psalm 90. It is, by tradition, the oldest of the Psalms dating to 1440 BC (the others were written by David around 1080-1050 BC). He says about half way through, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; for they quickly pass, and we fly away; Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What Moses is saying here is that we should take time to be a precious thing. But that time is too often squandered on stuff that we do that has no impact on others and their lives. We need to take time for knowing first that we are here by God’s grace and the result of many others who help raise us as kids and help us along the way as adults. And as such, we should return that grace by helping others along their journey. And by doing so, we help further find our purpose in life and feel that we’re building a better world.
That’s it. God’s plan is for us to be thankful first, and then help others in return. If we do that, we may indeed “gain a heart of wisdom”. Isn’t that what we’re running around trying to get by other means? So relax this Easter, friends, and spend time with each other. Wisely.