Friday, October 19, 2007

God's Will

A selection from one of the books I am lately reading:

"...the more we submit to God's designs for us, the more we advance towards perfection. When we resist, we go backwards. . .

In a spirit of conformity to His holy will we should accustom ourselves for the love of God to putting up with all the little daily vexations, such as a word said that wounds our self-esteem, a fly that annoys us, the barking of a dog, knocking into something as we walk along, a small accidental hurt, a light suddenly going out, a rent in our clothes, a pen that won't write, and so on. In one way it is even more important to practice conformity to God's will in these small things than in larger ones, both because they are more frequent and because the habit of supporting them in a Christian spirit prepares us in advance and in a natural manner to show resignation when we have to face serious difficulties.

We should wish with the divine will for heat and cold, storm and calm, and all the vagaries and inclemencies of the elements. We should in short accept whatever kind of weather God sends us, instead of supporting it with impatience or anger as we usually do when it is contrary to what we desire. We should avoid saying, for instance, 'What awful heat!' 'What terrible cold!' 'What shocking weather!' 'Just my bad luck!' and other expressions of the same kind which only serve to show our lack of faith and of submission to God's will." - Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure

I first read this a couple of weeks ago and was really interested in the wisdom of the whole idea. I have since been working to implement these suggestions, and do you know how many times I've failed, or caught myself complaining and not accepting God's will?

For instance, there is a dog that is not far from the boys' bedroom window, and it barks loud and often. I have contemplated several ways of wounding this dog as it has woken the boys from sleep many times.

I could probably fill volumes with the ungrateful words I've uttered and thinking I've entertained just since I read this chapter. But I won't.

There are so many benefits to faith and submission. If I only take these suggestions, not only will I be submitting to God's will and building my faith, but my life will be more pleasant (no more complaints) for me and those around me, I will gradually learn to FIRST see what is good about a situation, and this attitude will help prepare me for greater trials that may lay ahead.

5 comments:

Veenker Family said...

Thank you for posting that excerpt from your book, it was a nice reminder for me as well! We have so much to be thankful for there really is no use in getting upset by the small things:) We miss you guys!

christy said...

this is a great reminder. i am fairly prone to complaining, both aloud and in my head, about things that don't go my way....better to use them to build my faith or sense of gratefulness when things do go well.

coincidentally, there is a dog that barks right by the boys' window during naptime, and there are many terrible things i have thought about that dog from time to time....

joysnatcher said...

those barking dogs...if I wrote some of the things I think, then surely some animal rights person would find my site and have something to say...

be_a_Mary said...

yes, Christy, i hear you! i think submission is probably one of the hardest lessons we can learn, and I fear that it will be a lifetime of learning for me.

susan said...

I like the point about how practicing submission in the little things helps prepare us for when the big things come along. The "little things" are so challenging because they are SO frequent, it seems!

Scripture memory (a weakness for me) is similar. I'm always inspired when I read of people who are met with tragedy but have a reservoir of strength and wisdom due to the great amount of Scripture they've committed to heart during the "easier" times. Those are the times when we should be "beefing up" - so that we're stronger when the storms hit. My mom was reminding me of this awhile ago. If only that would spur me to action!

Great quote. Sounds like a great book!

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