We agonize over figuring out what God’s seemingly elusive will is for our lives, neglecting the fact that what He really wants is us. He wants us to be fully committed to Him in everything we do, not just in our decisions about what school to go to, what company to work for, what city to live in, or who to marry. He cares more about how we live our lives than which way we turn at each fork in the road. Aside from making decisions that would directly go against His word and His character, we are free to tap into the way He hardwired us, doing what we feel most excited about, what we see the greatest amount of good resulting from, and what we feel deep down we were made and called to do.
He orchestrates the details of our lives, giving us deep-rooted desires for certain things, skills in particular areas, and opportunities to apply them to roles that can point people around us to our Maker. He wants us to pursue our passions and use our gifts to glorify Him, regardless of whether we pursue it in the “secular” workplace or in vocational ministry. There is nothing less Christian or less obedient about following your passions and using them to help others and make the world a better, more beautiful, more loving place in roles outside of the church. Other realms of work need more of Jesus brought into them, too.
That’s all well and fine, you might be thinking, but what if I don’t feel particularly gifted or passionate about anything specific? I want to encourage you to set aside some time to dig a bit deeper. You may not get a crystal-clear vision of what you should spend the next fifty years of your life doing, but you can gain some insight into how God made you.
Think about how the events of your past have shaped you, both the good ones and the bad ones. What might God be teaching you through those events? What about them made you who you are today? How have they shaped your personality, your passions, your dreams, your fears, your strengths and weaknesses, and your interactions with others?
Think about the things that make you happiest. What could you talk about for hours on end? What makes you smile from ear to ear so hard that you couldn’t stop even if you wanted to? What makes you squeal with joy and jump up and down, regardless of whether anyone might be watching? What hobbies, talents, or skills do you have that make you feel special, capable, gifted, in the zone, or proud? What causes or injustices are you the most passionate about?
Now look back upon what you’ve uncovered, and begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together. How can you combine what your past has formed in you, what you love to do, and loving God through it all? Maybe you don’t see anything concrete. That’s okay. But hopefully you see ways in which you can begin to impact your world, even in seemingly small ways, that would bring a little more light, a little more love to those around you.
Maybe you are good at baking, and you can share that gift by making cookies for lonely neighbors, forging relationships with them. Or maybe you can help tutor kids after school, showing them that someone cares enough to invest in their future. Maybe you can help a coworker with a project, even if it means you’ll have to stay late to complete your own work. God is glorified in small acts of kindness just as much as in big gestures, if not more so, as our daily acts show a consistent presence of His grace in our lives. He ultimately wants us to know Him and make Him known. That's His will for our lives. How are you going to live that out today?
Interested in reading more? Check out Jennie Allen’s book Restless: Because You Were Made for More.