I heard a story once about a man who went to visit Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India for a few months so he could discover God's calling in his life. The first morning, he went into the room to visit with Mother Theresa and she asked him, "What would you like me to pray for you today?" He simply replied, "I simply want clarity." She then, without missing a beat, said, "I have never had clarity and clarity isn't what you need. But one thing I've asked for is trust so I will pray that you will have trust in God."
When I heard that story, I was blown away. Clarity is something to be desired in our day and age. We're asked to know what we want to be for the rest of our lives by the time we're 18 years old, or so it seems. If we don't know what we're doing when we're 21, then, "we probably won't ever figure it out."
Clarity (sometimes) is a fancy word for control. When we ask God for clarity it's because we are nervous that we don't know our future. So what do we do? We pray and pray to find the answer only to discover that when receive an answer we quickly turn from trust mode to control mode. Clarity gives us permission to rely on ourselves, rather than continuing to trust in God who gave you that image in the first place.
If you were to tell me that I would be what I'm doing right now--living in San Diego, married to a beautiful wife and serving people--I would have never guessed that story myself. But for some reason, because I am where I am now, I feel a constant need to control my future and where I'm headed. I feel an urge to be clear on my thoughts, my emotions, and my decisions. Rather than feeling the freedom to trust in a God who got me here in the first place, I push and pull on my own strength to get answers that maybe only God intends to know about.
Some of us worry about our future careers. Some worry about who they will marry. They wonder if they'll be a good mom or dad or what internship they should take this summer. But as we step into the decisions of tomorrow, what if we believed in the deepest parts of us that God knows our future and he can't wait for us to step into those plans. What if I told you that you couldn't make a mistake and that whatever turn you decide to take, Jesus will be right with you all along the way. I pray for trust, not clarity, today.