Tuesday, April 10, 2018

If Only We'd Done Things Differently!

If Only We'd Done Things Differently!
by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.

How many of us have said, "If only I'd done things differently."?  Regrets are a normal part of the human experience as we all make poor choices in our lives.  Some of the choices we're faced with are clearly wrong and avoidable, but most of our choices are murky and grey when we're faced with equally bad or good options. Do we buy the Ford or the Chevy? Should I go to this college or that one? Should I major in this subject or that one? Do I join the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps? Should I move to this city or that one? Should I take this job or that one? Should I quit my job? Should I marry this guy/girl? Should we have children? Should we get a divorce?

When faced with important decisions, most of us discuss it with our confidants to get their advice.  Even the President of the United States has trusted advisors to help him make wise decisions.  Our hope is to achieve the best possible outcome by the choices we make. But how many of us confide in God to help us make those tough choices?

God knows what the future holds; He knows every possible alternate reality, but He still gives each of us the freedom to make our own choices. God's ways are not easily understood, but they'll always result in the best possible outcome for us.

But He knows the weakness of our human nature and tries to lovingly lead and guide us on the best path for us to follow. Some choose to listen and follow Him wherever he leads them; unfortunately, most of us do not. We just do what seems right to us at the time and we end up making poor choices and eventually wishing we'd done things differently.

But if we strive to make our hearts humble, pure, loving, trustful, and sincere towards God, He'll show us the best possible way through life. Prayer is an act of love towards God. You don't have to formulaically recite prayers. Pray to God from the depths of your heart while doing the normal chores of life such as cooking dinner, cleaning the house, doing yard work, driving to work, or working at your job. Prayer doesn't even have to be words; it can be just concentrating on God with an attitude of gratefulness for all His blessings.

Don't tell God what He needs to do for you. He knows what you need before you even ask Him. Just ask that His will be done and not yours. Don't be afraid! God sees, understands, listens, and grants. How many graces are granted for one single, true and perfect act of love towards God? How much wealth is granted for an intimate sacrifice made out of love.

Ask and it will be given to you. Look and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. Because whoever asks, will receive, whoever looks, will find, and whoever knocks it will be opened to. God, who is our Father, will give us the good and necessary things for our welfare. So don't be afraid to ask, and don't be afraid to receive.

So we ask, we look, and we knock but our prayers go unanswered. Why? Because what seems right to us today may not be right for us tomorrow. We do not know that because we only know the present, and that, in fact, is a grace from God too. Because God knows the future, He is trying to save us a greater pain tomorrow, so He does not answer our prayers today. So don't be discouraged or angry with God. He has our best interests at heart. Just rest in the fact that God is with us and He's leading and guiding us. Just thank God for his protective care for us and that His will and not our will would be done. A day will come when you'll say, "Thank You, my God, for not answering my prayers! Your Will for my life was so much better!"

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