Darren Pereira

On the agenda: giving God control

By  Darren Pereira, Youth Speak News
  • January 25, 2013

TORONTO - My friends have seen my agendas, year after year, filled from the front to the back with to-do lists, various events and other little notes. With all of this organization and planning, it seems out of character for me to suddenly switch the university program I applied to for another right before the application deadline, making my future harder to visualize.

But as a young Catholic growing in my faith, it’s exactly what I am called to do.

I’ve always tried to take control of the course of my life, planning for my future according to what I thought was best. Then, when I prayed for God’s guidance and light regarding my university application, I was given clarity. Still, I persistently held on to my will, disregarding the advice of those who knew me best.

After stumbling upon a radio sermon on faith and reason during the feast of the Epiphany, I realized again that the university path I carved out for myself was not completely aligned with the path God desired for me, but I resisted again. Subconsciously, I knew that trusting God meant surrendering my plans, and surrendering my plans would mean letting go of control. It took me some time, some prayer and the counsel of great and faithful teachers and friends, but I finally agreed to make God’s plan my own.

I see this same resistance and lack of trust with many Grade 12 students. We’re afraid that our futures aren’t going to go according to plan. When we trust God, we realize that we don’t have absolute control, and that worries us. Even when God knows what’s best for us, we stubbornly refuse to trust Him.

When I finally decided to trust that God’s plan was better than my own, that it was better for me to specialize in Astronomy and Physics than to major in Christianity and Culture, there was a great sense of peace. He wanted me to do more than just change my plans for university. He wanted me to learn how to trust Him. Not knowing how the next few years will unfold sometimes worries me, but St. Padre Pio had some very simple advice: “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”

As I near high school graduation, I can’t help but think of how adventurous the past four years have been, which makes me wonder what’s in store for me in university. The words of the prophet Jeremiah always inspire hope: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jer 29:11).

I can plan all I want in my agenda, but I will enter university with the desire to follow God’s will. As a child of God, do I need to know anything more? Taking baby steps is all God asks of us as we walk with Him. St. Paul tells St. Timothy that he has “finished the race” (2 Tim 4:7), but he doesn’t mention anything about running.

(Pereira, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Brebeuf College School in Toronto, Ont.)

 

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