Thursday, January 5, 2012


Certain translations of Psalm 57 (56) verse 2 read:

“I cry to God Most High,
to God who fulfils his purpose for me (NRSV).”

I came across this verse yesterday and immediately began to muse on the idea that God has a plan for me.

It’s wonderful to think that I’m not a useless speck in the universe, a meaningless bundle of electrons, but rather someone who is special to God -- so special that God actually has a plan for me. The Lord needs me to fulfill that plan if the Kingdom is to reach its planned fulfillment.
When I was in about fourth grade we memorized a poem the contained these two lines: “Dare to do right, dare to be true, you have a work that no other can do.” I Googled it and found that it’s actually a Sunday School hymn from the late 1800’s. Without the repetitions it reads:

Dare to do right!
Dare to be true!
You have a work that no other can do;
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,
Angels will hasten the story to tell.

Dare to do right!
Dare to be true!
Other men’s failures can never save you.
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;
Stand like a hero and battle till death.

This little song takes the same view as that psalm verse: God needs me to do certain things with my life that nobody else can do.

When I was a freshman in college at St. John’s in Minnesota, we minor seminarians had to take the MMPI psychological profile, presumably to weed out potential chainsaw murderers, etc. Well I was romping along through the questions about being afraid to touch doorknobs when suddenly I came to a sudden stop. I found myself staring at this question (these may not be the exact words but they’re close): “Do you believe that you have been specially chosen by God?” Talk about a Catch-22! If I answered “No, I have not be specially chosen by God” then I’d have been saying that I didn’t have a vocation from God (so why was I in the seminary?). But if I say “Yes, I’ve been specially chosen by God” then the psychologist would flag my answer and say, “Aha! This kid is delusional, with a messianic complex!” I took my chances and came down on the side of honesty -- I answered “Yes” to the question. I guess it turned out to be the right answer!


But here’s the down side of the idea that God actually has a plan for me: The Lord needs me to fulfill that plan if the Kingdom is to reach its planned fulfillment. I have a work that no other can do. That’s the same as the up side, right? But that’s a lot of unwanted pressure, you know? I mean, what if I flub it? I start picturing the Kingdom with a bunch of Swiss-cheese holes in it due to my refusal to go along with God’s plan for me.


I'm afraid to dwell on this image for too long, so let me end with a quotation that a good friend just gave me concerning God's plan for us.
For surely I know the plans I have for you,
says the Lord,
plans for your welfare and not for harm,
to give you a future with hope.
Then when you call upon me
and come and pray to me,
I will hear you.
When you search for me,
you will find me;
if you seek me with all your heart,
I will let you find me, says the Lord,
and I will restore your fortunes. (Jer. 29:11-14)

This quotation seems like a good way to end my musings about God's plans for me. Forget the swiss cheese and just seek the Lord with all my heart.
Sounds like a plan...

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Just read another interesting reflection on this. It essentially said, yes God has a plan and will for each of us and it's Micah 6:8.