(Wednesday, July 5)

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10b)

“God’s will” is such a mystifying topic, that we might be tempted just to scratch our heads and become agnostics on this issue, as if we can never really know or do “God’s will.” After all, the failures of our own will are sometimes so apparent, that even St. Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” And then St. Paul completes this reflection with gratitude, somewhat unexpectedly: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7: 15, 20, 24-25)

How can the Apostle’s insights help us, in practical terms? The energy of our own will, outside the energy of God’s will, is easily misdirected into “sin,” or “a-martia” in Greek, meaning “missing the mark.” We may be strong-willed people in most things, according to our God-given, human will, but in certain other things we are completely powerless, when certain misguided (not God-guided) choices-turned-habits kick in. Our problem is not really one of will, but of direction.

We are not created to be entirely self-directed; we are meant to be God’s co-workers in the “garden” of our own lives, working in synergy with Him to keep His kind of order, “as it is in heaven,” in our realm “on earth.” God can and does “deliver” us, time and again, from the “sin,” the mis-fires of our own will and those of others, when we let ourselves change, to change our focus or our mind, towards Him and His will, which rubs off on us when we do that. So this morning let’s make the dignifying decision to do that, once again, in gratitude. Because we have access to more than just our own energies in our gardens here on earth. “Thy will be done,” whatever it is for us today, “on earth as it is in heaven!