It was in Calcutta that the ethicist John Kavanaugh met Mother Teresa at her centre. He came there to spend three months and to get a clear answer regarding his future. When Mother Teresa asked him what she can do for him, he asked for prayer.
At that point, she asked him his request. Happily and longingly he said, “Pray that I have clarity.”
She was quick to reply “No. I will not do that.” Then she said “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” Kavanaugh retorted that she seemed to have so much clarity – which is exactly what he wanted in life. But quickly she said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.*
Trust forfeits control and clarity. We work hard to devise a clear path to the plans we have for our lives. But life seems to ignore our plans and takes a path of its own. It goes completely out of our control. The steering wheel seems to turn on its own will. Then we see our plans in the “rear-view mirror.”
Job was a man who looked in his “rear-view mirror” and saw his plans left behind. Looking ahead, he only saw darkness, gloom, and death. But finally God broke through the darkness from above and gave him a new perspective. God said “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).
He wanted Job to know that even if his life seemed to be completely out of control, God is the creator and holds everything in his hands.
So, what do you see in your “rear-view mirror”? Are your plans lying there all shattered with the broken pieces of your life?” Then when you look ahead what do you see? You don’t even want to think about it? Complete darkness? Now, its time to look up and trust God. He holds everything firmly in his hands.
One thing God asks of you is to trust him with your life: Your career, family, health, and all your dreams for the future.
Would you share what you see in your “rear-view mirror”?
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*This story comes from Brennan Manning’s book Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God.