Don’t Worry, God Knows When You Are Ready

Being the one in Charge

I’m transitioning from coaching soccer to refereeing. In a soccer match, there is the field referee and two assistant referees on the sidelines. Most of the time, I’m an assistant referee watching for offsides and who touched the ball last when it goes out of play. It’s a good way to learn how to officiate because most of the difficult calls are made by the field referee who usually has more experience.

One of these days, I’m going to move into the field referee position which is a terrifying proposition. As an assistant referee, I can rest assured that if I make a mistake, the field referee will just override my call. And while I understand the different types of fouls and laws of the game in the academic sense, it’s hard to recall them while making split-second decisions. It will also be difficult to be that final arbitrator and face the backlash of angry coaches, players, and parents.

“Refereeing is fun” they all said

The Apostles Are Promoted

I think the apostles must have felt the same after Jesus’ Ascension. They were probably comfortable assisting Jesus in his ministry. It was still Jesus’ teaching, healing, and putting himself out there to people’s delight and other’s disdain. Like an assistant referee, they could rest easy knowing that Jesus was going to make the all the hard decisions. Even when Jesus sent them out to minister, the apostles knew that Jesus would still be there when they returned to help resolve any issues that may have arisen.

After the Ascension, the apostles realized that they were no longer assistants but had been promoted to leading and building the Christian Church. And no matter how much they learned from Jesus, they must have felt scared knowing that it was they, not him, who would need to make the decisions on where to take the Church. Remember, this came weeks after Jesus’ Passion which was a low point in their commitment to Jesus. And now they were going to be the ones in charge.

How many times did St. Peter need ask himself “What would Jesus do?”

God Knows We Are Ready

Many times, God calls us before we think we are ready. Any new parent knows that feeling of coming home from the hospital with a newborn realizing they are on their own to nurture this new life. Maybe your job, school, or parish is asking for your commitment to a new project or committee in your already-full schedule. Perhaps God is telling you through prayer that he wants you lead your life in a new direction.

As scary as these new situations may be, we have to remember that it’s all part of God’s divine plan for us. He has a personalized plan for each one of us that puts us on a path towards Heaven. He’s not going to lead us down a path we aren’t ready for. However, it requires great faith (aka: trust in God) to let go of our doubts and fears when God calls us out of our current routine into something different.

This is where faith built on routine prayer comes into play. We need to be prepared if God ever calls us to follow him along a different path. We’ll be more confident and assured if we already have a deep relationship with God because we’ll be following a trusted friend, not a stranger. Like Mary at the Annunciation and the apostles after the Ascension, we may not have all the answers and a clear idea of what God wants from us. But God has a plan and it’s a good one even if we can’t see it.

Sorry for talking about the Ascension a week after we celebrated it. Hopefully, I’ll write a post about Pentecost before Thanksgiving!