Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wrong Turns and the Providence of God

Fr. Stephen Freeman, a priest of our diocese who visited with us in Baton Rouge several years ago, has a very helpful post on his blog that should be pondered. Here's an excerpt:

These are some thoughts on the Providence of God and its work in our lives.

I think there is absolutely such a thing as Providence (not that we have much of a clue as to what God’s plan is in our life). Rather Providence is the trust that our lives are in the hand of a good God who is working all things together for our salvation (even when we sin and take a wrong turn). There is a common understanding of Providence, common in our culture, that would tend to see only onehighway for our life [God's plan] and that would argue that wrong decisions can only be corrected by returning to the previous point and starting over. Thus when we take a wrong turn – we must go back and correct it and get back on the previous route.

This reminds me of the GPS unit in my car which occasionally, having run out of “on-the-map” solutions, says, “If possible make a U-turn!”

There is another understanding of Providence, more common in the Eastern Fathers, in which God’s work in our lives is seen as far more creative. There is not one route, but one destination. Thus if we make a wrong turn, God is quite capable of continuing to bring us to union with Him. The problem is not that of a route, but of our heart.

Read it all here.