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Learning to Listen to the Divine Whisper

March 8, AD 2017 4 Comments

It has been a crazy past few months here. I have been facing the usual high school senior dilemmas regarding the “afterlife”, so to speak, of high school — whether to go to college or not, whether I should go immediately or postpone it, what I would do in the meantime, and to which colleges I should apply to and visit. All of this on top of my normal activities: finishing up my schoolwork so I DO have a joyful afterlife, working, taking guitar lessons, and the million-other household tasks which are forever regenerating themselves. Ugh. Never before have I been so stressed out about the calendar and fast-approaching deadlines!

In deep waters.

A few weeks ago my dad and I drove to a college here in the Southeast. It was an eight-hour drive, but a comparatively uneventful one. We were attending Scholarship Day at the college. I was excited to be interviewed for a prestigious scholarship, tour campus, attend seminars, and meet students. My dad and I were very impressed with the college.  As we were leaving campus I knew that it was the school I hope to attend.

Over the next couple weeks, I feverishly worked on applications for some outside scholarships. I wrote essays, tracked down signatures, and received letters of recommendation. Yesterday I was informed that I hadn’t received my much sought-for scholarship from the college, although I was eligible for some minor scholarships.

At the end of all this, I just want to laugh the laugh of a treasure-seeker who has searched the world for years for a priceless treasure, beautiful beyond imagination. When he finally finds the treasure, in his exultation he slips on the damp floor of the cave. The treasure slips out of his hands and into the mouth of the volcano. There are only two possible reactions: to weep or to laugh. He begins to laugh.

Perhaps my problem is I am too anxious to discover God’s plan for my life. I stress out too much about what it could be, and the fastest way of obtaining it. Hence, I will run in all directions hoping that I will find a billboard screaming “THIS IS IT”. But of course that is not how God works. I need to remember how God spoke to Elias: not in the wind; not in the earthquake; not in the fire; rather, in the whistling of a gentle air.

Let’s Hear It For The Church!

While I was thinking about all this, it dawned on me. I already know what God’s plan for me in this life is. As a matter of fact, it is what the Church has been telling me my entire life!!

Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

—Baltimore Catechism (Lesson 1, Question 6)

That is exactly what I have been looking for, right in front of me the entire time! As long as I truly know God, love Him, and wish to serve Him, everything else will fall into place!! I don’t need to worry about the college I go to, or whether I am to be married or enter a convent. God will tell me in a whisper when I can no longer serve Him in my current situation. He will lead me on the path to Him. All I need to do is to follow. If I know Him, love Him, and serve Him in every “now”, I will forever be living His plan for my life.

I am still looking at my options for this coming year. I don’t know where I’ll be six months from now. It might very well be that I’ll be working overtime at some job trying to save up for college. But right now I am surprisingly unstressed about it; I know that God has a perfect plan for me, and for right now He wants me to swing along behind Him until He can trust me with knowledge. Until then, if anyone wants to hand me $68,000, that would be all right, too. You’ll know where to find me: just follow the trail of empty coffee mugs, chocolate crumbs, Rosary beads, and Divine Intervention.

About the Author:

Theresa Curley is currently taking pre-requisite classes in sainthood before her Final Exam at the end of her life. She hopes to meet you in person there. Until then, you can find her on her family's homestead in rural South Carolina, drinking tea, singing along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and enjoying books by G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.
  • Elijah fan

    This was a nice read. I once gave a South Carolinian a wad of money after she was down and out per hurricane in the Caribbean. To my surprise, she paid it back a year later by mail …unasked for. Must be a nice culture. You’ve taken a punch. Christ took a punch after he warned a man to sin no more after curing him of a 38 year immobilizing illness. The man told on him to the Jewish elders right thereafter as Christ being the one who cured him on the Sabbath.
    That was a punch in the stomach….cure him, fraternally correct him…and get reported by the man you cured at the risk of your being stoned to death. Yours was less lethal but real and deep because you had time to hope and elaborate that hope into details. Continue to hope…pull back on elaborating hope into details as much as possible. A person buys a powerball lotto ticket and hopes. If they elaborate that hope even in a Christian direction toward funding money for the starving in Somalia….when they lose, the elaboration in the imagination makes the punch a tad harder.

  • Thomist

    Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz often told his football teams that there were three things they needed to keep in mind in order to be successful. “Your talent determines what you can do, your motivation determines how much you are willing to do, and your attitude determines how well you do it.” He pointed out that the talent comes from God, the other two are up to you. Sounds like you have the last two firmly set in place, I’m sure God will reveal the first one in short order. God is with you Theresa.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! God has done unbelievable things in my life since this was written, and is teaching me trust and patience, albeit slowly. He has a plan!