If you haven’t already, take a look at today’s first reading (5th Week of Easter, Saturday), particularly the second part. The reading tells some of the events of Paul’s missionary journeys.
Paul did not pick which towns he preached in. He would simply go on his way where the Spirit led him. The reading speaks of how Paul and his companions were prevented from entering some towns by the Spirit and called to other towns in visions. Does this mean that God did not want the gospel preached in those towns?
No, God wants everyone to hear the Gospel. But God knows who will listen and when they will listen. God also knows who they will listen to, meaning maybe God was sending someone else to those towns.
Do we let ourselves be led by the Spirit or do we want everything our way?
I’d like to say it is always my intent to do exactly what God wants. There are two problems here. First, I am not perfect but I would like to focus today on the second problem – I don’t always know what God wants. I would love it if God gave me a specific plan to follow with all the details spelled out. God doesn’t always work that way. However, God does lead us through the Spirit.
Remember how today’s first reading speaks of how Paul was preventing by the Spirit from entering some of the towns and called to others in visions. I would much rather have God give me a vision ahead of time but I think that often in life we find out what is God’s Will by our ability to do what we start. I think back to my day on Thursday. I had the 12:10 Mass and meetings at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. I also had plenty of things to do in between. I said Mass and the meetings went well. However, the things I planned to do in between didn’t all get done. Some of it I didn’t even get to. Was I prevented by the Spirit? Maybe. Perhaps some of the tasks weren’t for me to do. More likely, I think some of it just wasn’t what was more important to do that day. That’s OK. I just want to do what God asks of me.
When things don’t go exactly the way you want, do you just try all the harder? More effort might be all that is needed but we must also ask ourselves, “Are we doing what God wants? Are we going where the Spirit leads us and going at the appointed time?