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All part of God’s plan...?

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

When I was seven, our teacher went off for a month to have an operation on her toes. The headmistress, a very gentle, quiet sister, stood in. She talked a lot about God.

She told us that God had a big book, with two pages in it for each of us. The one on the left had His plan for us in gold. On the opposite page an angel noted in black every time we deviated from that plan. When we died, God would determine whether we got into heaven by seeing if we had more gold than black.

The plan, in gold, largely involved being good, doing as our parents and teachers told us.

The bigger question of determining what to do with our lives was a lot less clear. Even then, this seemed more than a little unfair. We were going to get hammered for getting it wrong, but it wasn’t at all clear how we even found out what was right.

Years later I was asked ‘What if Heaven was a place on earth?- and not by Belinda Carlisle although she was singing about the same motion, around that the time’.

Later still, I was invited, on retreat, to draw an image of God, and see what emerged.What did was something like the path ballroom dancers make as they waltz across a floor.

Dancing with God, taking my lead from God, and God in turn responding to my choices, not by noting errors in black, but by offering new chances to live well and fully, and be part of building God’s kingdom here on earth.

This was one of a series of reflections on theme of ‘Re- thinking God’ featured on RTE Radio 1 Living Word slot in Dec 2020.

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