“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34, ESV)
I have always had difficulty with this verse. More specifically, I have had difficulty living out this verse in my own life. I am a natural worrier. I worry about the future all the time. I have very specific goals for my future, really. I want to go to graduate school. I want to teach high school for awhile. I want to be a published author, and earn enough money so that I can adopt a child on my own. I want to become a university professor later in life. I want to be an upstanding Christian who is content in his singleness and an encouragement to others who struggle with SSA.
I want to help make it so Christians don’t flinch when they hear the term “gay,” and maybe even help the language of those who struggle something a little clearer (I really see no reason why “gay” and “SSA” can’t be interchangeable, but some people will only use one or the other for reasons that simply don’t make sense to me). I want to help make it so ex-gay ministries refocus their goals on helping people live lives obedient to Christ and their values, instead of focusing on marriage or heterosexuality or “freedom from homosexuality” (I really, really hate that phrase, since it’s so misleading; I’ve never met an SSA man, even a very faithful and loving married one, who didn’t still have pronounced homosexual attractions, and I wish those guys would be as candid with their public testimonies as they are in private correspondence).
So I have a lot of goals. I have a laser focus and a very driven heart when it comes to reaching those goals, and I often act defensively when confronted with something that will threaten those goals (just ask anyone who has ever gotten into an argument about ex-gay terminology with me). For example, I have a very difficult time with Christians who refuse to even support basic civil unions for gay couples, because it’s usually these hard-line conservatives who don’t want to allow gays to adopt—not even single ones—and that threatens one of my most treasured goals. (On a mostly unrelated note, I also get annoyed at Christians who don’t support gay marriage but who say they’d support civil unions, but then don’t do anything to actively promote civil unions or things like hospital visitation rights; put up or shut up, people).
Are my goals necessarily God-ordained? Well, that depends. Certainly my goal to be a faithful and obedient single man is. After all, the only reason I don’t have a boyfriend right now—and hopefully will never stray and have one—is because of Him. I do think that many gay Christians can marry heterosexually, and I support them when they do if they have been honest and cautious about it. I don’t see that as my own particular calling, simply because I think I can do a lot more as a single man. I want to show Christians that a single gay guy can be obedient, loving, Biblically-sound, and have a heart that seeks Christ. I want to show that it’s possible.
But maybe the other goals are things God doesn’t have in store for me. I’m in the graduate school application process. I certainly have particular places in mind that I’d want to go (Baltimore, Colorado), but what if I only get accepted at a school in North Carolina, and have to stay here? Or what if my family hits financial ruin and instead of getting to focus on my writing I have to go live back home and take care of my mother and be a teacher in the same high school I graduated from? These things are certainly possible, but I think I’ve reached a point in my faith when I can say that, even if those kinds of things happened to me, I could still count my many blessings and praise God. My goals seem good and valuable and are precious to me right now, but if they turn out to not be His goals, well, he will show me. I just need to keep at them and stop worrying about them, I guess.