SummaryOnly one real strategy guarantees life success. Courtney Kaderbek offers advice for how to know when you’re doing God’s Will, and how to follow your dreams.
By now, many of this year’s high school graduates have begun their first semester at college.
Others are searching for a job or discerning their vocations. For some, it’s an exciting time, filled with the promise of a bright future. But for others, the future can be a daunting prospect.
That’s hardly surprising, given the contradictory messages coming from society! One minute, we are practically superhuman, capable of success in anything so long as we believe in ourselves. The next, we are helpless victims caught in the twin fists of Fate and Fortune.
Society has a ready-made solution for this terrifying contradiction: mediocrity.
In fact, it has even invented a System to easily attain mediocrity, a System that all high school graduates are expected to follow:
- Go to college
- Get a degree
- Get a job that will support the American lifestyle
- Make money in relative security
It doesn’t matter whether the young adult in question is a man or a woman; whether he or she is called to marriage, singlehood, or consecrated life; or whether, most importantly, this is the path God has destined for him or her.
God’s ways are not man’s ways.
If we are truly open to God’s Will, we may find ourselves veering off the tidy path that Society has paved to better explore God’s uncharted wilderness. It will be a far more uncomfortable journey, but undoubtedly more rewarding!
I can attest to that.
I am currently lost in the tangle of God’s wilderness. In fact, I’m not sure I will ever find my way out! It all began two years ago, when I graduated from college with a degree in
Telecommunications and Film, and a conviction that I was supposed to serve God through my writing. I knew (and still know) that “for this I was born, and for this I came into the world.” By writing, I do my part to “testify to the Truth.”
These are important questions for everyone to ponder: For what did I come into the world? How is God calling me to testify to the Truth?
Success is not a gamble, but a choice.
Society tells us to settle for less, because success is a gamble. Or is it? We Catholics ought to know better than that. We are disciples of Truth, and the Truth is that success is not a gamble, but a choice. No matter how impossible it seems, our heart’s deepest desires can and will be realized.
Of course, there is a catch!
We must align our will with God’s Will. In fact, His Will must become our will! We must desire only what He desires, and everything He desires. Fate and Fortune have nothing to do with it.
This is a life-strategy where success is 100% guaranteed, because God cannot be thwarted by anything…not the devil, not the world, not even our own incompetence!
And the result of such wholehearted obedience? We, the instruments of the Almighty, will be unstoppable.
Do not be afraid!
So, in the words of Our Lord, “Do not be afraid”…to strive for your dream! Every dream that isn’t sinful is a gift from God. It is either the “End” God has in mind, or a means to an even better End.
Do not grow discouraged!
“The works of God proceed slowly, so do not be in a hurry.” When difficulties arise, do not become discouraged or assume that God is not behind your dream. He may be permitting these setbacks to show that “it is the Lord’s blessing that brings wealth, and no effort can substitute for it.”
Do not give up, but put even greater trust in Him! Even if He appears to take a dream away, He may well give it back in due time…sometimes dreams need purifying before He can bless them.
I know this from experience.
Two years ago, I embarked on a journey to glorify God through my writing…at least, that’s what I told myself. Actually, there were many, many reasons I embarked on that journey. Some were noble. Others were not.
I figured that I was doing God’s Will, so in return, God would give me my heart’s desire…in the exact manner and time frame I wanted.
FYI: He didn’t. He knew I wasn’t ready.
For me, these two years have been a period of purification. There were doubts to face, anxieties to overcome, insecurities to admit, and weaknesses to battle.
God forced me to examine each reason for choosing the life I did, and question whether I was being faithful to His Will…or whether, under that humble guise, I was merely asserting my own.
The bottom line: Unless we are doing God’s Will, we will not be happy. But how do we know that we are doing God’s Will, or just telling ourselves so?
The answer: God will let us know. That is why submission to His Will is so important. By putting our self-will to death, we allow God to reveal His. And whether He gives us back our original dream or offers something even better, we will be happy. We will have our heart’s deepest desire.
And I know that, in His time, I will.
It will all work out!
Abandonment to God’s Will is the only strategy that guarantees life success.
If, by abandoning ourselves to His Will, we appear a victor in the world’s eyes, we win.
If, by abandoning ourselves to His Will, we appear a loser in the world’s eyes, we still win.
No “System” is right for everyone. Our society is wrong to assume that. In the end, only God knows what path will make us happy, and also save our soul.
If we truly give our will to God, all that is left for us to do are two things, and they are very simple.
The first is to “glory in our infirmities,” as St. Paul would say, for it’s precisely our weakness that allows God to work such marvels through us!
And the second is…to get to work!