We've been looking for most of a year for a car that would have certain features that we hope will help Susan in her paper run. Rather remarkably, Tuesday five days ago - the 23rd of January - we happened across one sitting by the road with a 'for sale' sign on it. Things have moved fairly rapidly and yesterday we bought it.
Bought it, of course, by increasing debt.
Someone once asked me how we can be certain we are doing God's will. "In the sense that you mean it," I responded, "we cannot."
I did hedge a bit. I said that God does, when He wishes, grant the preternatural grace (I hope I have the terminology correct!) of 'infused knowledge.' He makes you to know something without having had to learn it. Normally, we do our best to make a reasoned prudential judgement - aided, we hope, by the gifts of the Spirit - and we act - we act in faith.
We do this all the time. Most of the time we scarcely concern ourselves about the will of God - not, at least, regarding each and every action of our day. We eat our breakfast; we go to work; we read a book. Yes, we do make an act of the will regularly to choose God's will always - a fiat.
But the matter comes to our consciousness in a striking way when the matter is one of some thousands of dollars - we do stop and think: "do I really need this?"
The "am I in the will of God" that we would love to have is something we could clutch to our breast; hang in front of us as - dare I say it? - a kind of shield between us and God. "I know God wants me to do this or that. He told me. I am safe."
And I don't have to lean on Him every moment.
This is not given to us, and, for those of us who are far from holiness, it would be disastrous. It would become an idol. What I know is:
But what if I really am not depending on Him? What if I choose out of self-will. That, too, if I face Him and acknowledge it, will uphold me: