Does God Have a Plan for People’s Lives?

At church this morning, the theme was God having a plan for people’s lives.  That message somewhat took me aback.  Why?  It’s standard Christian fare, isn’t it?  I think the reason is that I am a bit skeptical these days.

I can understand my pastor thinking that God had a plan for his life.  He looks back, and, even though there were disappointments, things turned out all right for him.  He wanted to be a minister but could not go to seminary, so he went to a business college.  There, he met the woman who would become his wife.  After his wife died, he heard sermons that got him through the mourning process.  He was preaching in various churches, and opportunities opened up for him.  I’ve sometimes wondered: suppose I gave my pastor one of my atheistic books.  Would that shatter his faith, as encountering other perspectives has shattered the faith of so many pastors?  I doubt that it would.  He looks back at his life, and he believes that God has taken care of him.

In my case, I have disappointments and regrets, and I am still waiting to see if God will bring forth good.  Deep down, there is a part of me that believes that God will lead me to a job so that I can store up money and eventually pay off my student loans (as I do my part and look for the job, of course).  I have to have hope!  Do I believe that God has a foreordained plan for my life?  Well, I’m a bit skeptical about that, but I will continue to pour out my needs before God, hoping God will lead me to something.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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1 Response to Does God Have a Plan for People’s Lives?

  1. I am as much in the dark as anyone. I do not have a relationship with any church or denomination, that all went away in high school. God is another story. I don’t know. I choose to be the best person that I can be and it makes me feel happy. When I was drinking, I was hurting myself the most and even though I almost dies several times during my hospital stay, it didn’t bring me closer to God, it brought me closer to peace with myself. I don’t know if there is a plan or if there is anything after we go to the final slumber. I do know that being with family helps, friends help as well. I admire your faith James.


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