Genesis 43:16-34; Psalms 75, 76; 1 Corinthians 7:10-24; Mark 5:1-20
Back in my junior year in high school, I took psychology for a semester. We had to write a research paper on a psychological disorder based on a book of our choice. My first choice was a book on schizophrenia. Because the book discussed material I did not care to read about, I tried reading about multiple personality disorder. That book was far too long to read by the due date. So, my last choice was a book on obsessive compulsive disorder. Initially I was resistant and unenthusiastic. But I did the assignment, wrote the paper, and that was that. Or so I thought. It was not till a year later that I realized the reason for and importance of writing that paper. I met a girl whom I eventually started to date. I discovered she was a very hurt girl, and that her pain was from obsessive compulsive disorder.
Looking back now, I realize this was no coincidence. It couldn’t have been mere chance I learned something I could use to help support and love another person. This theme comes from today’s readings. The psalms declare how great and glorious God is. His judgment is supreme. Even so, we rarely know the full extent of God’s plan. As the brothers of Joseph return to Egypt for more food, they are so worried and preoccupied that they cannot enjoy and understand the plan laid out for them, that Joseph just wants to love and help his brothers. How many times have we “missed the whole plan” because we were so worked up about other things going on?
Mark teaches us another mistake some make. A man delivered from demons falls at Jesus’ feet and asks to go with him. Astonishingly, Jesus turns him away to stay home and spread the good news of the messiah in that way. Like the letter to the Corinthians, this shows us that God does not always call us in extravagant ways, with a loud voice booming from a torn open sky. God’s call can be as simple as doing a research paper on your third choice topic. God calls us to do his work in whatever niche we occupy on this earth. Though we do not always know what his plan is, we should be assured that as long as our hearts are right with him, we will naturally follow him.