The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

Even This Is Part of the Plan


The word of the LORD came to me:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
Jeremiah 1: 4-5

You have searched me and you know me.
All my life is in your hands.”
You Have Searched Me”, Michael Joncas

So many small “yes” decisions go into the big “yes” decisions. Hardly groundbreaking commentary. But when you step back and see God’s hand in every act we do, every consideration we make, every joy and pain, every event, good or ill, God knows, and has us decide to say “yes”.

The sunflower field above is in a fairly remote area of west central Missouri. It is not near anything or any place. Yet, hundreds of people make the hours-long trek to see God’s handiwork in these fields .. My wife and I walked for a while in the sunflowers; anyone can for as long as they like. The owners ask for donations, but nothing else, except to respect the growth that has come from a season of waiting. The seeds sprout from the ground, and with careful nurturing, bloom and provide a portrait of God’s handiwork.

So our College year has begun during most unusual and very frightening circumstances. We are social distancing to the hilt, everyone is encouraging everyone else, faculty are making the technological and physical adjustments so students can begin their journey as best as possible.

To learn, we must trust. In that trust, we grow. We grow, we share, so that others will grow from our interactions.

But … but ..

It is not coincidence. God’s hand is with us.

Young people are meeting each other, and talking and listening and, well, where might those speaking-listening interactions lead?

So many “yeses”.

Yes by parents to provide a warm home environment, borne of faith.

Yes, when it was time to choose an institution of higher learning, and deciding on Benedictine.

Yes by faculty, from so many and varied backgrounds, to teach and share at this College.

Yes, perhaps, when someone who asks you to grow with them and, in joyous love, prepare for marriage based on those conversations and actions meant for no one else.

This is happening, again, and I am so moved and grateful to witness it. Two former students, dear people both, have announced their “relationship” together on social media, because, it’s the 21st century, after all.

But all the high tech, all the “stuff”, all the meaningless things melt away as friends discern they have something much deeper, and they are on their way to make a statement of joy and happiness in a dark world.

Both admit, it was not happenstance. The evolution of their relationship has been theirs, but it not by accident.

It is by design.

As I shared with them, this is in God’s time and God’s plan.

From the beginning, you were to be.

Together.

Once again, God’s work is awesome.

He knew it … all the time.

Image: Central Missouri sunflowers, Heath Cajandig via Flickr


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Michael Throop

Michael Throop

Michael Throop Ed.D M.P.A. CSM is an Assistant Professor at Benedictine College in Journalism and Mass Communication. A former news anchor/reporter at Cumulus Media, he received his doctorate in Education at Northeastern University. He lives in Kansas City, Mo.