By Nick O'Brien
As I grow older, I am learning that my life decisions aren't up to me. And that sucks.
I had my whole college career planned out but I started to be pulled and pushed in other directions. One moment I'm ready to submit my deposit and the next I'm being accepted to a university that I didn't even fully apply to. "Maybe God is trying to tell you something," my mom said. I tried to get rid of my pride because deep down I was scared she was right. But I had already decided and Franciscan University was out of state, too small, and didn't have my major.
Needless to say, I didn't want my mom to be right and I didn't want to go to Franciscan.
As I reflect on today's readings, I find it very appropriate that he is talking to Nicodemus, since my name is Nick. And in the Gospel we read about a similar dispute. We hear similar conversations of how Nicodemus doesn't understand what Jesus is doing. He doesn't see the big picture.
I, too, struggle to see the big picture and this gospel forces me to realize how often I am blocked of seeing what God really wants for me.
If I were to replace Nicodemus with Nick, the story would make the same amount of sense. Nicodemus and I ask the same question, "How can this happen?" And God replies back, "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?" And I hear Jesus talking to me personally, saying, "You are the missionary of Grapevine and you do not understand this?" It's tough to admit but there are a lot of times I put myself on a pedestal, thinking that I'm exceptionally cooperative with the Holy Spirit.
But it's moments like this that help me to realize that I'm not above this, that even the holiest of people need to work on continually trusting in God's mysterious plan.
Looking to my new future at Franciscan University, there is still a lot I am worried about. However, I'm working on breaking down my walls and beginning to trust in my own epic mystery.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick is nineteen-year-old missionary with Net Ministries and is excited to attend Franciscan University next year