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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
COMMENTARY: Your mission, should you choose to accept it.This article was originally published in the National Catholic Register.
Many readers of the Register feel demoralized by the current state of the world. The world we once knew is gone. The world where people care about the truth of things, the world where childhood innocence is expected and respected and protected, that world seems a dim and distant memory.
There is no natural reason to be hopeful. However, this does not preclude some supernatural reason for hope. That is why in a previousarticleI reminded my readers of the central truths of our faith. It is reasonable to believe that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, that he is God and that the Bible is true. In this article, I go even further: Trusting more deeply in the fundamentals of the faith is a practical course of action. The most reasonable posture in this historical moment is to set aside the human perspective and embrace the God’s eye perspective.
Not that we are ever going to know the mind of God. Of course, that is way beyond us. But it is quite reasonable for us to remember that God does have his own perspective, and that we would be smart to align ourselves with it.
Let’s cut to the chase: God does not expect you to singlehandedly prevent the fall of Western civilization. He doesn’t expect you to root out the corruption in the Church, or in the U.S. government. I’m pretty sure that is true of everyone reading this, even though I don’t know each of you individually.
God is a reasonable God: It is not reasonable to suppose that he expects you to do something that is not humanly possible.
On the other hand, he did plunk you and me down in this particular moment of history in a unique geographic and social location. Surely, he has a specific vocation in mind for each of us. He will hold each of us accountable to that mission, uniquely tailored to our gifts, talents and circumstances. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to embrace that divinely appointed vocation to the best of our ability, and stop worrying about the other problems of the world.
Let me emphasize that:Stop worrying about the other problems of the world.
Our faith teaches us that God created each of us in his image and likeness. Our faith also teaches us that God is infinite and we are finite. Therefore, no one of us can image every aspect of God’s perfections. Even the best of us can only imperfectly image some aspect of God. We have to face that basic fact. God is God. We are not.
God certainly knows that our world is a mess. He has a plan for restoring the cosmos. The Divine Trinity has been working that plan since the Garden of Eden. You have a part in that plan. That is pretty much all you need to know. Execute your part of the plan, and you’ve literally done all that you can do.
After all, how could you or I possibly improve on God’s plan? He knows more than you or I do. He has the good of more people at heart, whereas I’m pretty much thinking of myself, (even though I really should know better.) And he has a longer time horizon than I do. Therefore, doing the mission God has chosen for me is literally the best possible thing I could be doing. If everything crashes around me, so be it. He has matters well in hand. Do you really believe that?
He has equipped each of us to achieve our specific mission. He has already given you the tools you need, placed you in the exact right place, and put the right people in your life. As you put one foot in front of the other, more tools will appear, and more of the right sort of people will find you. You may end up in a place you never expected, or never thought possible, or never would have chosen. That is perfectly alright.
I strongly encourage you to discern your unique calling from God, in this particular moment. God has placed specific people in each of our lives that he intends for us to love, cherish and care for. Maybe your vocation is to reach out through letters or calls to people who are discouraged or wounded. Maybe you are a member of a profession that has become corrupted by the Sexual Revolution or financial impropriety or both.
Your unique vocation may be to somehow use your gifts, talents, personal history and connections to bring reform to your area of expertise. If you are a physician, your responsibility is to address the ways the Sexual Revolution has corrupted medicine, not law, or social work or journalism. If your calling is to teaching fifth graders, you cannot simultaneously battle political correctness at the university level.
God of course, knows this. God expects you to achieve your unique mission, and no other. He expects you to stay focused, and not be distracted by everyone else’s.
And besides, you will feel better if you are doing something constructive. I am pretty sure no one has a vocation to sitting on the sidelines, worrying or complaining, (although you might not guess that from people’s social media posts.) Hiding under the bed because you scared yourself to death isn’t going to help anything or anybody.
Do you really believe that God has a plan for the world and for your life? Then trust that plan. Do you really believe God has a plan for your life? Then
discover and work that plan. Everything else is a waste of time. Heaven knows, we have no time to waste in the defense of the truths of the faith,
and the building of a better world.