There once was a young man who had a strong desire to serve God. He began study at a theological school with the hope of becoming a priest. However, despite his strong efforts, he was unable to pass his final exams. This occurred for a few years and dismayed, the young man sought the guidance of a spiritual father.
The young man explained to the spiritual father, “Father, I don’t understand…I do everything in my capabilities but these final exams; I can never pass them! It makes no sense. Why is this happening?”
The spiritual father gently advised the young man that perhaps this was not God’s will for his life and that God would patiently show the way. However, the young man protested in his confusion, “but I know for sure that I want to serve God; I want to bring people to God…I am certain this is my calling. Nothing brings me greater joy. I don’t understand”.
The spiritual father responded, “My dear child, that is a beautiful desire that God has ingrained within you but we don’t understand the workings of God for his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts, higher than our thoughts1. Be assured God will answer your prayers, he tells us that in their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps2.
The young man left comforted with the words from his spiritual father. Years passed and the man ended up becoming a builder! He enjoyed his work very much and did very well in his efforts. One day, he was informed of a job that needed his expertise. And what was that job? It was in fact to lay a road!
The man was rather puzzled when he was informed of the location of the road. It seemed to be in an unusual and isolated location. He was soon informed that this very road would lead to a newly built church. The minute the young man heard this, he was deeply moved and called his spiritual father.
“Father, you would not believe it. I’ve been asked to help in the construction of a road…and it leads to a newly built church”.
The spiritual father responded, “Oh my dear child, how special! Praise be to God! You had a desire to help bring people to Christ, to his church and you are doing exactly that by constructing this road. You just had to be patient to see the path God wanted you to follow. Remember that he always knows best”.
The young man was deeply moved; God had heard the desires of his heart but knew the best path for him in life was not necessarily the way he had thought. Often we are unable to understand the plans God have for us in our lives but he always knows best and acts only out of love. Have faith, hope and trust in God’s plan for you!
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
- Isaiah 55:8-9
- Proverbs 16:9.