GC36 – (2) Involving God in our decisions
At their General Congregation (gc36.org), some 200 Jesuits from all over the world are gathered to seek what God wants of the Jesuits at present, and to decide how best to achieve this in practice. This could raise the question for us too how we can involve God in our decisions. For while we all feel that it is a good thing if somehow God were involved in our decisions, we are not always sure how.
We envy St Paul and Our Lady who seem to have had their work cut out when their future was revealed to them through a vision: they did not need to spend so much energy in coming to a decision, for they were sure what God’s will was for them. Yet we tend to forget that they, like us, still had to take difficult decisions at every step of their lives as they tried to live out what God wanted of them.
We sometimes try to involve God through an external act of worship: we light a candle or offer a mass for that intention. Some people open the Bible at random and seek inspiration from the page they chance upon. We often ask people whom we perceive to be close to God to pray for us, for somehow we know it does make a difference.
Yet we know that we need to go deeper. A lot depends on what place we wish God to have in our lives. Some would like him to be present, but not too present, keeping him at arm’s length. Others would like him to act as their insurance, a guarantee that nothing will go wrong.
Or he may be welcome to be present in a meaningful way, as someone I trust with my life and destiny, for like the Psalmist I know that ‘even if I walk in the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff. With these you give me comfort‘.
Involving God in my decisions then becomes less threatening and more reassuring, for I can see that God wants only what is best for me, and, as the one who made me, he knows me through and through. I am free to ask him what he wants of me, and to help me do it.
Jesus once said that whoever is faithful in small things will also be faithful in big things. When we involve God in our everyday choices, it will be easier to do so also in our big decisions. Jesus reassures us that a small amount of faith, even as small as a tiny mustard seed, is enough to move mountains.
Sometimes it is the whole Church that seeks to involve God in its decisions, as when the Pope invited us to pray for the success of the Synods about the family. So are the Jesuits, as they grapple with the way they should understand and organize their present mission in today’s world.