I am not a huge junk food girl. Seriously, I'm addicted to both baby carrots and chocolate. So put a bag of chips and a bag of carrots in front of me, and most likely, I'll grab the carrots. Except---maybe--if those chips are BBQ potato chips. When I was younger, I LOVED BBQ chips. Then, somewhere around the middle of my elementary school years, into middle school, I switched over to Sour Cream & Onion chips. But now, just these past several months, I have discovered a rekindling of my great affection for BBQ potato chips. They are amazing. I will eat handful after handful after handful! They are sooooo good!
Well, at dinner on Friday night, I made egg salad sandwiches. I am well aware that the "meatless" restriction on Fridays has been lifted outside of Lent, and that Catholics just do another form of penance (well, they should...unless they haven't really been informed. But now they are, so ha! Do something penitential on Friday-Jesus died for us on Good Friday!). Still, in my family, we try to do meatless on Friday. So I made these sandwiches. After evening Mass, my dad ran over to Target, and grabbed two containers of Lay Stax. Well, he didn't get the BBQ chips, but I didn't complain. He got Cheddar, and then....he had also bought a container of the regular original, too. Seriously? Who ever eats the original anymore? My siblings are digging into the cheddar, and I'm thinking that sounds pretty good, too. Then my dad makes the comment "Oh, so I guess you guys don't like Original..."
Well, I am my daddy's girl. He went to Target to buy these chips as a treat for us, and now he seemed a little disappointed that he must've gotten the wrong kind! Was I going to sit by and scarf down Cheddar potato chips, while the Original sat by, untouched? I grabbed the can of original, and pulled out a stack, and set it on my plate. I picked one up, broke it in half, and popped it into my mouth. It was delicious!! Hurredly, I ate some more, not believing the incredible taste. "Guys," I told my siblings. "I forgot how good the Original chips are!" Well, each of my siblings--a tad bit disbelieving of my words--took some out of the container, and ate them. Gus's eyes grew wide. "She's right! These are so good!" I definitely had way too many chips, but that's okay--you only live this day once, ya know?
God's plan for us is like potato chips.
See, God knows what He desires of us, where we will be happiest--all along! And He will guide us towards His will. But then we decide that us--the mighty humans--must be smarter than God, so we decide not to listen to Him! Don't even try to deny it; we've all ignored God's will at times, or tried to actually change His plans to fit our desires. God has this master plan, but we don't just trust Him; we go on and decide what we're going to do to find joy. And then that doesn't work out for us, so we move on to something else.
We start out eating Original Lays potato chips. But then we get bored. We think the chips are bland; we need something fresh, something new, something exciting! And there are all those options out there--all those different kinds of potato chips! Jalapeno, Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, BBQ, Salt & Vinegar (nasty!)....the list goes on! So we pick a kind that appeals to us (Sour Cream & Onion), and we run with it. The Orignal Lays are sitting there, but we ignore them! We enjoy these new, exciting potato chips! But then after a while, those chips get old. They seem to get bland, routine, mundane. All of a sudden, we discover this incredible attraction to a new kind of chip (BBQ). We will do anything for these chips, even eating nearly half a bag in one sitting, just to be fulfilled and have joy! But then one day, those BBQ chips are not there for us. In desperation, we reach out for something--anything--we need those chips in our life, so we can be fulfilled! And we see the Original chips just sitting there, waiting for us to make the first move. So--in a dive of faith--we plunge our hands down into the container, pull out the chips, and eat them. And do you know what we discover? The chips are DELICIOUS! These Originals are so much better than we even remembered them to be!
God has this plan for us. And at first, it really seems awesome. But then, other attractions come by us, distracting us from His plan. All of a sudden, God's will for us seems boring and routine. Kind of bland and stationary. So we see a new path that we can take. So what if God isn't exactly pointing us to this path; we'll just go with it, and have Him modify all of His plans to fit our desires! So on this new path, we're doing our thing, having a grand ol' time. But then after a while, that life gets bland, routine, mundane, and we're ready to totally freak out. But, on the brink of freaking out, a new plan comes sauntering by, and we become infatuated! This, we figure, must be it. We will do anything for this pathway; it brings us happiness, it seems to fulfill us. This pathway must be where we need to be! God hasn't been running with us at the same pace, it seems, but He'll catch up. He'll just change His will for our lives yet again, so that we can have what we desire!
But then, one day, that pathway isn't there for us. It looked so promising, so fulfilling. But it wasn't there when we needed it. We have an empty space inside of us, that can only be filled with a pathway to lead us to joy. We see a couple options sitting in front of us. And one of them is sitting there, waiting. Waiting for our response. So we take that dive of faith, and plunge into this pathway, and rediscover God's will for our lives. God has been waiting the whole time. He has been with us throughout life, ever present, even as we reject His will time after time after time. He is there, waiting for our joyful response--our fiat! And when we make that joyful response, that fiat, He fulfills us. We experience true joy that no other pathway could bring. We experience true love and sacrifice. We truly begin to live. No longer searching, going from one pathway to the next. Our feet are now on the path of God's will, so that we may steadily journey forth to Heaven.
"May it be done unto me, according to Your word." Lk 1:38