REFLECTION: God’s providence and our work PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 February 2015 14:21

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

 

It’s always a necessity for us to be able to see the bigger, if not the whole picture, and to avoid getting stuck with the small picture. More than that, we need to see the vital link between the small picture and the big one, the local and the global, the here-and-now and the ultimate, and play the part of that link that belongs to us.

We need to convince ourselves that our life and everything in it, including our work especially, is not an isolated and unrelated element in the very fluid ocean of the universe. We are always a vital part of a whole plan of God’s love and wisdom, a verse in the divine epic of the continuing work of God over all of his creation.

We have to overcome our tendency to have a very restrictive, narrow and shallow view of our life, ruled solely by mere human estimation of things, worldly standards and criteria, instead of our faith that gives us the complete vision of things and the adequate means to reach our ultimate end.

We have to be most wary when we are simply carried away by the impulses of our senses, our emotions and passions, and some worldly values that, while legitimate, do not give us the complete picture. This is a real challenge, because we do need a radical paradigm shift, a quantum leap to achieve what is ideal for us.

Again, to be sure, God has given us everything for us to be what we ought to be, to do what we ought to do. Things now just depend on us, on whether we are willing and humble enough to make the necessary adjustments to conform ourselves to God’s plans and ways.

We have to be more aware that with our creation by our Father God, we are meant to work. Work for us is an essential, inalienable part of our human nature. It is the very operation of our God-given powers and faculties that range from the spiritual to the intellectual and mental, to the emotional all the way to the manual and the physical.

It is what relates us to God and to others, what enables us to attain the ultimate goal of our life—full communion with God and with others. We need to understand then that our work is a vital part of God’s abiding providence over all his creation, especially over us.

God’s providence is the organic, necessary extension in time and all the way to eternity of God’s creation. When God created us, he just did not put us into existence and then left us to be on our own. He continues to be with us, governing and leading us to him with due respect of our freedom, because as Creator, God cannot leave us, otherwise we will cease to exist.

This providence of God now involves itself in the salvation of man, after we have alienated ourselves from him through sin, both the original and the personal. Since our work is our participation in that divine providence, we have to understand that our work ought to be involved too in our own salvation.

It therefore has an eminently redemptive character. It just cannot be stuck with purely worldly objectives, no matter how valuable, recommendable and legitimate these worldly objectives are.

It’s indeed time to realize more deeply this distinctive character of our human work. It just cannot be wasted on brilliant technicalities, very advantageous, profitable and most tempting and irresistible earthly motives and worldly pursuits.

We have to be more aware of the ultimate value and purpose of our work, no matter how small and humanly insignificant it may look. We need to sanctify it, offering it to God and doing our best in carrying it out, and always trying to see how our work at the moment plays in the over-all plan of divine providence.

But beyond that, we need to continually discern what God wants of us in a given moment, what work we are supposed to be doing at that time. Yes, we are already given some general indications of this by the duties and responsibilities attached to our state in life. But we always need to more sharply figure out what God wants us to do in a given moment.

We have to help one another in this regard. This is not an easy task at all. But trusting in God’s grace and guidance, we can always make some progress in this pursuit. God’s providence somehow needs our work!