I want to write an essay saying the statistical chance of God having a specific plan for your life is roughly 1 in 227. I’d base that statistic on scripture, because scripturally, for every one person God had a specific plan for, there were 226 He did not. Joseph was in, Benjamin was out and so on.
Okay, I haven’t actually done the math. It may be 1 in 250 or 1 in 95, but that is hardly the point. The point is we think God is going to tell us exactly what to do, but chances are, He isn’t. It’s just not a Biblical idea.
God does have a general desire for everybody, for them to be reunited with the Trinity through Christ, and for them to have food and shelter and relationships, but I don’t believe God has mapped out a plan for your every day, or even for your every year.
My friends who disagree and think God has a specific plan for everybody are mostly sitting around waiting to hear from God. Meanwhile, God’s plan for them, apparently, is to shop at Bed Bath and Beyond and quote the latest Saturday Night Live skit. Quite the plan.
I contend with this idea for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that I don’t think God is a control freak.
Imagine visiting a friends house for dinner for the first time. You sit down at the table and the father, who sits at the head of the table, tells each of the kids, and the wife for that matter, what and when to eat. Then he tells them what to wear to bed, when they will be getting up, where they will be going to college and who they will be married to. Later, you tell your friend you thought their dad might be a bit controlling. You secretly believe their family to be dysfunctional. But your friend is offended. They think it’s perfectly normal to want to please their father in everything they do. And they are right, it is appropriate to want to please ones father. The only problem is, their father is NUTS!
God, on the other hand, isn’t nuts.
If God is fathering us, He is helping us discover what is good, right, pure, and worthy to pursue. He teaches us morality and ethics, but also gave us a heart filled with desire and longing. It’s as though God sets before us a big sheet of butcher paper and hands us a box of crayons and tells us to dream.
I’ve a friend whose wife is a counselor who does this very experiment with kids she counsels. She gives them a sheet of paper and some crayons, and based on how they respond, she can tell whether or not the child has a dysfunctional relationship with their parents.
But I could be wrong. Here’s how you know, based on scripture, whether God has a specific plan for your life:
1. If you are a virgin and you get pregnant anyway.
2. If your donkey talks to you.
3. If an angel wants to wrestle.
If any of this happens to you, God is definitely at work. He also wants you to see a counselor.
And there are a few more. You get the point. If God has something specific for you, you’ll know, I promise. But if He is setting a box of crayons down in front of you (a box of crayons called life) then by all means draw. He’s taught you right from wrong, good from bad, beautiful from profane, so draw. He will be with you, proud of you, cheering you on, so draw. He loves you, so draw in the inspiration of the knowledge of His love. Draw a purple horse, a red ocean, a nine-legged dog, it doesn’t matter. Lets stop being so afraid. Lets live, and show the world what it really means to be grateful we don’t live in a dysfunctional family.