If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Him About Your Plans

The meeting of the holy people

It is said about the saints who have the gift of being “spirit-seer” that it is something they do not want, that it is a torment for them, and that they pray to God to take this gift from them because it is a burden. If holy people think this, I wonder who we are to become so excited about such things? Losing the sense of control can be the beginning of freedom in the sense of trying to control what cannot be controlled.

At one point, a specialist came to St. Paisios, the Athonite, who had been working for a few years on a project in his field that he could not figure out. He showed him all his notes, and the saint ordered the papers and the project in one hour. The man was amazed. Another person came to the same saint and explained to him how, being almost killed in an inevitable motorcycle accident, he was projected by “an unseen force” somewhere in the field, on the side of the road. Then he saw the face of the saint, and it was revealed to him how he, through his prayer, saved him, although he was at a great distance. More about these wonders and others in the volume “Life of Father Paisios the Athonite”, a book recommended by an expert in the theological field as one of the most important spiritual books published in the last hundred years. Saint Paisios the Athonite did not intend to achieve “great things”.


Prayer works better than NLP.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) works. Yes, it also has a lot of “exotic” and “show-oriented” aspects, but beyond that, it really works. I say this because I applied it myself, saw it with my eyes on others, listened to hundreds of hours of audio training in this area, and read dozens of books and articles in the field. And I also wrote a few dozen original articles on NLP and a dissertation paper.

But it is something that works better than any kind of instrument in personal and professional development, and that is prayer. Do you want inspiration and creativity? Read the Holy Spirit Prayer List, and then do a few dozen genuflections. Read these prayers as well. This works for what you need to work better than anything else. Do you want a tip for a decision? Ask the priest during confession; he will know how to tell you what God’s will is. Don’t you think so? Check for yourself and find out if you are satisfied! Then, like you go to a consultant to provide knowledge in a particular area in which he has the expertise, go to the priest and give Caesar what Caesar is.

With the help of the tests that I know how to apply, of probing the personality, attitudes, values, and human behaviors, I am able, among other things, to form an image of the level of personal development that someone is at. A person who has the most wonderful structure of values ​​that I have encountered, which I am convinced that each of us would like, in content and effect, I have met … in Church. I’m writing about a person who lives by Christian values. Before meeting me, she had not read a book on personal development in her life, did not know what NLP is, and had not achieved anything “great” except fighting with herself and her passions. We have been friends for over seven years.



From the point of view of objective management, «if you don’t know where you are going to, any road takes you there» (Lewis Carroll – «Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland»). Those who plan their success indeed have the best chances to attain it. However, some don’t plan «great» things. The «great» things vary from one person to another.

I was talking, for example, with a specialist who works with autistic children. She told me about her work and the impact it has on children. She explained to me the things that make her do this job, although it cannot make significant changes in the lives of these children that will most likely remain so the rest of their lives. And in the end, she added that “this is not a great thing”.

The most significant things you will be able to achieve will be for others. This is the wealth that no one will take from you. A position, material wealth, a person – these are things that can come and go out of your life. And let us remember how people who do “great things” do not consider these things great, as this person also considered. If you want to do “great” things, it is clear that you perceive yourself as “small” because if you were really great”, you would perceive what you do as “small”. Remember what Mother Theresa wrote in this poetry

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives if you are kind. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. So be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. But, of course, it was never between you and them anyway.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2012-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Dacă vrei să-L faci pe Dumnezeu să râdă, povesteşte-I despre planurile talepreviously published initially by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian on the 17th of July 2012 on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. Originally written in 2012. Updated in 2020. 

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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