Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
Ah, to be 19 again! By the time I was 20, I had already changed my major, met with a vocation director about a possible call to the priesthood, and started dating the girl who would end up becoming my wife. When I was 24, I was married and one year away from completing a Master’s degree. I wish I could look back and say I knew exactly what I was doing, but that would be a lie. However, what I did have going for me is that I always tried to figure out where the Lord was leading me. The process of discerning His will for my life wasn’t easy, and I did feel the need to sometimes explore paths briefly to which He was not calling me. But that was an important part of the journey, waiting for God to speak to each situation in which I found myself.
Now, my oldest son is 19 and he must discern God’s will for himself. I fear that he will not be as interested in what God may be saying to him. He may choose to go it alone, and even though I know God will be there somewhere, it will be my son calling the shots.
Saint Paul urges us to not continue in ignorance, but to try to discern the will of God. It is interesting that by making decisions based upon all the data we collected, we remain ignorant if we choose not to listen to God’s still voice in our lives. The fact is that our lives our not our own and God has given them to us with a purpose and a plan. We can be instruments of God even if we sometimes say no to His requests, but we can never achieve our full potential without constantly discerning His will for us and responding in maturity. Will our sons and daughters be willing to choose His will over ignorance? Their greatest hope lies in us serving as good examples with our lives.