Today as I was driving home, I thought, "I am in a mid-20s crisis!" It never occurred to me that the frustration that I am feeling with my directionless life is something that peoples in their 20s commonly feel. My crisis is Catholic in nature, i.e. I am searching for what God wants for my life rather than what I want. But nevertheless, it was nice to suddenly feel that my inner turmoil is pretty much normal.
A woman at my Bible study passed this poem out recently.
Here is part of it:
If a tree were capable of reflection
would it have doubts about its growth?
Would it worry endlessly
about the direction it should take,
or when it should produce new leaves?
Would it sometimes imagine
that its life was without design?
Would it think that its height and shape
had been self-determined
through random acts of will
amounting more to good luck
than good management?
The poem goes on from here, but this was the part that interested me most.
I do believe that people can make bad choices. We can choose to be with people who do not treat us right, we can choose to hurt ourselves and others in our search for happiness. We can avoid committing to anything or anyone because we are afraid of being hurt. We can choose to do whatever we want in life and, as long as it is not a sin, expect God to bless it.
There are many ways that we can live our lives outside of God's will for us. Sometimes it is sinful, sometimes it is just foolish because we are avoiding the very choices that will make us more happy, closer to God's love and ready for heaven.
I am reading the book The Christian State of Life by Adrienne von Speyr, a female theologian who was good friends with one of the greatest Catholic theologians of our time, Hans Urs von Balthasar. In the book, Adrienne speaks of the choice that every Catholic is called to make, a choice between religious life and married life, (and I would add celibate single life). Reading her has led me to believe that many of us can very easily miss God's call for what He wants in our lives:
One who gives serious consideration to the choice he must make and spares no effort to make the right one will be shocked at the number of people who fail to choose. He will discover that many people around him lead a life of chance, taking life as it comes and accepting what it brings them with no reflection, no genuine attempt to come to terms with the life they live and in consequence, no conscious and free acceptance of it.