On my second day on the job, my new supervisor handed me his laptop: “I need you to upgrade this to the latest Web-based operating system.”
I was in a foreign country, surrounded by coworkers speaking a foreign language, and as a junior IT technician, I was finding it challenging to familiarize myself with the new work environment, understand foreign technical terms, and handle the inevitable problems that exceeded my level of experience.
It was summer and I was on a youth mission trip on the northern coast of Poland. As our trip came to a close, our base in Warsaw was sending a van to pick most of us up, while Nick, René, and I planned to head back by train/bus/hitchhiking. I have no idea how this harebrained plan was conceived, but for some reason, we thought it was great.
One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make decisions that will glorify God and fulfill His will for our lives can be very challenging. It can test and grow our faith, as we seek His will and wait on Him for answers and guidance.
The Brazilian writer and poet Cora Coralina, from a very poor family, became a famous teacher and author. She left many wise sayings in her books, one of which was: “The most important things in life are our choices!” She meant to teach her students that being rich or good-looking or other things society values are not as crucial as learning to make the right choices in life.
In one of his psalms, King David wrote, speaking to God, “To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”1 I’ve always found that to be a beautiful description of God’s ability to be everywhere and see everything.
Some years ago, after a series of mistakes left me exasperated and discouraged, I pleaded with God to turn me into a robot, programmed to always do what He knew was best. You know that deep down I want nothing more than to do what’s right, but my wrong decisions and harebrained ideas keep getting in the way! Can’t You reprogram me to always make the right choice and do the right thing? Think how much better off Your world would be!
I do not force anyone to walk through the doors I lead them to, because I want My children to make their own choices. But the door is there, and if you walk through it, you’ll find a great light, for I am the way, the truth, and the life.1
So don’t be afraid to push the door open and walk in. As you take the first step, I will give you the faith to take another step, even if you can’t see where the path is taking you. If you’re walking down the road that I have for you, there is no higher calling or greater fulfillment.
Since I was a little girl, I have heard that God is omnipresent. I used to have a vague idea of it, like some cosmic energy, but since then, I have had some experiences that have changed that view.
When I was 18 and living in London as a student in the early 1970s, I came to know Jesus in a personal way and our relationship began to develop. I used to go for long walks to parks on my own, and it felt like someone was walking by my side and talking with me as an old friend. Instead of feeling lonely, I felt recharged.