C.S.Lewis once wrote that in the end there will only be two kinds of people. Those who said to God, “Thy Will be done” and those to whom God says, “Thy will be done.” This stark choice is the choice we are give by God because he really does grant us free will. Because we are created in His image and he is omnipotent he gives each one of us a little scrap of his omnipotence. We really can do what we will.
The disaster of self will, however, is that it is, but it’s very nature, self destructive. The human will cut off from God’s will is going nowhere fast because it is cut off from the source of Will–which is the omnipotence of God. It’s like a re-chargeable electric car. It can run on its own for a time, but eventually it needs to plug in and re-charge and connect with the power source. Without that it soon fizzles out. This metaphor is limited because, in fact, the human will cut off from God’s will does more than fizzle out. It eventually wreaks wreckage everywhere. The further our will goes from God’s the more disastrous the outcome.
Therefore, the prayer, “Thy Will be Done” is, at its heart, a kind of ontological re-oreintation. Through original sin my default setting is not “Thy Will be Done” but “My Will be Done.” When we pray this prayer, therefore, we are bit by bit, step by step, cell by cell, gradually over time re-writing the code which is so solidly set in each of our souls. Moment by moment and day by day and week by week into a whole lifetime in which we say time and again, “Thy Will be Done” and so correct the kink in our nature caused by original sin.
What happens when we do this is a transformation at the root level of our existence. Eventually we learn that our own will leads to weakness and enslavement and emptiness, but joining our will with God’s will brings power, for “with God all things are possible.” It brings power because we are hitching our will with His Will and when the two are combined we can change the world. This link also brings freedom for suddenly we do not care. We really honestly do not care what happens to us. We are in His hands and His will (we have come to learn) is far and away more wonderful than what we would have willed for ourselves. Finally, this link with the Divine Will brings the abundant life. We discover that living in his Will opens our lives into a new dimension of reality.
This reality is the kind of life exhibited by the saints. They are the ones who have learned to say perfectly, “Thy Will be Done” in every aspect of their lives. And through this they soar.