If you were previously a believer in The Almighty, did you ever hear him speak to you?
I never did. At least, I don't think I did.
However, I know a few people to whom God did speak, and I was always envious because God always told them what they should do with their lives. He told them who to marry, which house to buy, and which career path to follow.
I remember, when I was trying real hard to be a good Christian, wondering what God wanted me to do with my life? Did he want me to become a pastor of a church? Did he want me to get married and have kids? Did he want me to go to college and get a degree? And if so, a degree in what?
See, I was always taught that God had a special plan
for each one of us, and I wanted to know what the special plan was for me. And, since he seemed to tell others what his plan was for them, I felt that he would do the same for me as well.
So I asked and I listened. I cleared my mind and waited.
A thought popped into my head. I always wanted to be a cartoonist, you know, like the guy who drew Peanuts? Was that the plan for me or was that just my selfish desire? See, you have to distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of your own mind. I had failed numerous times trying to become a successful cartoonist, so I guess that wasn't the plan.
Let's see, he told my cousin to become a priest, so maybe that was the plan for me. After all, Jesus said that we were to sell everything and follow him, so at least that idea was biblically sound. I asked if this was right, but couldn't get a good grasp of the answer. I checked with our local diocese and it seemed that becoming a priest was a long shot. Maybe a monk? Well, truth be told, I really didn't want to be a priest (I'm not what you call a people person) or a monk, but then again, this was God's plan and not mine.
But I had to be sure. I would've hated to get to heaven and have God say, "Silly boy. THIS is what I was trying to tell you and you missed it."
I wondered why the plan or the communication wasn't more clear. I guess I was expecting to be spoon fed.
Maybe it was me. Maybe I wasn't “right with God”. Maybe I had some unconfessed sin in my past that was preventing him from opening up his bag of blessings to shower upon me. Maybe I was cursed. Did I deny the Holy Spirit at some point during my rebellious youth? If so, then all of this was futile because the only thing I would be getting from God was my one-way ticket to the furnace.
I went through and cataloged every bad thing I'd done that I could remember and confessed.
I still didn't hear anything, at least, anything concrete. Still had lots of thoughts, though, but couldn't really be sure which were the voice of God and which were just being created by my brain.
People would say things to me, like, “You have a good voice, you should do radio.”
Was that God speaking to me? Did he send this person to me to reveal his plan. But then, someone else would say, “Just follow your heart. God created all of us with a passion for something."
Passion. I thought really hard. I wasn't passionate about anything, really. I had passing interests all throughout my life, but nothing that I couldn't live without. Nothing that made me excited to get up in the morning.
I secretly wished that God would communicate with us like in Star Wars. You know, where that little hologram pops up on the desk and the emperor tells you that he's sending his apprentice Darth Maul and that he wants that treaty signed. Well, okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the idea.
Finally after months of agonizing, wondering what the plan was, and feeling left out of the God party, I started to think that maybe there was no plan. And if there was no plan, maybe there was no God. And if there was no God, maybe I could make up my own plan.
I still hear from people who say that God spoke to them. In fact, I have a cousin who insists that God spoke to him and told him to go to Texas and become a Catholic monk -- he was going to be a priest, but the intense schooling required made him, and God I suppose, re-think his plan. (I have other theories as to why he was “told” this and some of them have to do with the fact that he doesn't like to work, doesn't want to go to school and really wants to be taken care of for the rest of his life, but that's another post).
So my questions to you are: Did you ever hear God speaking to you? And, if so, what was it like? How did you know the voice came from heaven instead of within?
And if someone had vital instructions that were essential to life such as a divine plan, who's more responsible for insuring that the message is received? The communicator or the receiver?
Heck, even I can make up a grocery list to ensure I, or whoever is doing the shopping, comes back with the right items.