It has once again been months.
But the question of my accepting the inevitable, my being “In His Order”, that is willing to accept that I’m in God’s will still remains.
It’s easy on an intellectual level to accept the workings of Divine Providence. But emotionally accepting a disappointment what you’ve long known rationally, an overattachment to an “idea”, a “hope”, a certain self-image of worthiness proportioned a certain end is far harder.
We’re physically embodied creatures with a difficult and often opposed relationship between our higher reason and our emotional passions. It’s easy to convince yourself of the arguments, the rationale for why things have happened to you. It’s easy to even notice the faults in yourself, the deficiencies that have painted you into a corner, made you a specific type of person, trapped you into an irrational mental attachment. And I’m not even referring to bad attachment, merely grasping onto an idea, executing it badly by relying on the sort of “master planning” that thinks you can create a future for yourself apart from providence. Of course, we have to be an active agent in our own destinies. We do have free will. But it’s an abuse to see yourself and pride yourself as one able to master plan your own future. It’s kind of like the fault behind Original Sin. A swerve in the will, self-aggrandizement, a belief also like Dostoevsky’s character in Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, that your future lies in your own will and you need to reach out and grasp it.
The worst part is that even after you have realized that you are wrong in your self-aggrandizement, realize that something is not in the plan of Divine Providence for you to reach at the moment, that you nevertheless can’t accept it with the lower part of your nature.
You might feel like there’s been an injustice. You might feel, like Raskolnikov, that Providence or temptation has tricked you. You might feel like everything was perfectly being set up by God to head in a certain direction. And then the surprise that you didn’t expect, and don’t want to submit to. Providence had other plans. Providence willed you to have the experience of seemingly approaching an open door, and then closed it.
Sometimes you even rationally see how the open door helped you even though it was to be closed before you reached it. You can sometimes see in your own life how that open door enlightened your life at the time even if you were never destined for it, how it perfected you then and perfects you even more by its having been shut.
But the most difficult choice is ahead of you. Not a choice of whether or not you can open the door or another door again. Merely whether you will choose to accept Divine Providence, to accept the fact that you are really “In His Order” whether you like it or not.
You know that the way to happiness is to accept God’s will. And yet it’s still hard.
But that’s the challenge of history. That’s the challenge of the problem of evil, the almost joke of your own human existence, the difficulty on the path to growing in any virtue.
We are in charge and we are not in charge. God is ultimately in control of history and yet you are still free and culpable for your own deficiencies. Whether we choose to live in acceptance of this reality or purposelessly choose to act as if we could oppose it is a choice that needs to be made for each one of us.
Even if you sometimes are graced with moments in which you’ve managed to see how God’s will, hard as it may have seemed, has helped you become a far better person than you might have otherwise become, how even in the sorrow is God’s hand forming you, shaping you into what he wills, It’s still hard.