Fr Tikhon told us that he was a young man once, with no thought of joining the monastery, and instead, was planning to marry a young lady, whom he thought to be the prettiest lady in Moscow. The wedding was already planned, and the young man was already imagining his future life.

Then one day, Fr Tikhon visited the monastery, and saw the old elder Fr Nicholas. Fr Nicholas asked if the young man was joining the monastery. The young man laughed at the old monk, thinking the old elder to be mad. The old elder insisted again that the young man must join the monastery as a monk. The young man left the monastery laughing.

Strangely, after he left the monastery, his relationship with his fiancee cooled off and they broke off their engagement. And eventually, the young man began to harbor thoughts of becoming a monk.

Such is the strange relationship and the mysteries we will experience with God. The more we embrace His Love and His Will (Jeremiah 29:11), the more profound and more illuminating our journeys will become. God always chooses us, and it is up to us to choose God too. When our choices meet, therein is before us our salvation and our chosen journeys, to reconcile with our beloved God.

God will always leave subtle signs in our journeys. Discern these signs.

If the signs are downward spiraling and tempting us towards our passions, they are not from God. Depart from these signs, and keep praying His Holy Name with utmost humility.

if the signs are from God, they will always be edifying and uplifting for our spiritual journeys towards God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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