What college do I want to attend?
What do I want to major in at that college?
Is this person my soul mate?
Do I really need to change jobs right now?
Can I afford to go back to school?
Is it the right time to have children?
We’ve all been there.
Trying to make the big decisions will stress anyone to the hilt. If only you had some sort of compass to help guide you through the fog? Wait… maybe you do. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let me tell you about my struggle.
I perpetually stay distracted. I’m “gifted” with a personality that sees every day as brand new. Now, that may sound awesome to you, and it does have its perks, but usually, it’s more like 50 First Dates. I’m disorganized, directionally challenged and sometimes just plain dumb. I’m pretty sure my life’s mantra could be, “Which way did he go George?”
One of the wonderful traits that seems to accompany my personality type is a “quitter mentality”. What I mean is that, often I’ll have, what I think is, a great idea. And for a while, I’m completely gung-ho about that idea. I’ll try to get other people on board, sell the idea with my spouse and even talk to random strangers about it (and yes, I do get funny looks quite regularly). But then, inevitably, opposition rears its ugly head. Most of the time, that opposition doesn’t even come from other people, but instead from myself. Sometimes, it hits me in the form of good old-fashioned logic and reason. Other times, it’s simply laziness, and me not wanting to put the legwork into making my dream work. However, more often than not, my ambition killer is the fear of rejection. Admittedly, all too often and for far too long, I’ve allowed this unhealthy fear to rule my life.
I’ve gotten off track. Back to why you’re here. In recent years, I’ve heard phrases like, “find yourself”, “discover who you really are”, “be what you want to be” and variants of these sayings more than I can count. While these words do sound incredibly encouraging, what they are essentially saying is, “YOU are in control”. Still, that doesn’t sound that bad, does it? As a matter of fact, it sounds kind of empowering.
Here’s my beef though. As a Christ follower, I should not believe, even for a second, that it’s all about me and what I want to do. Because it’s not. Rather, I’m a steward of what has been given to me; a manager of someone else’s property. I’m even responsible for what I do with what I have. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Everything I have is simply borrowed: my life, my body, my possessions, my family, my abilities and especially the plan for my life. To say things like, “I’ll do what I want to do!”, or “It’s my body!” or “It’s my life!” doesn’t really leave much room for God to work now, does it? Actually, statements like those indicate who’s lord over your life, and it’s not the Lord of Glory… it’s you. You’re sitting on the kingly throne and calling the shots. And that’s all well, and good… while everything’s running smoothly, but what about when your world turns upside down? It’s interesting; while life is grand, we’re quick to swipe up the credit. We proudly cite our education, our talent, our character, our tenacity or our life experience. But when things start to get hairy and life spins out of control, we’re all too quick to blame God for our problems. We shake our fist at Him, curse Him and ask Him why he disrupted our little utopia. Don’t you see the irony in that? It’s as if we are ALL good, and He is ALL bad when it’s actually exactly the opposite.
Allow me to connect the dots here. With my personality type, I continuously struggle with what I think will make me happy. One day, it’s one thing; the next day, it could be something totally different. So, how insane would it be for someone like me, when faced with a major life decision, to just pick a direction and run with it? It would be kind of like spinning the wheel of fortune. Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows?! Hey, that’s cool for a game show I guess, but life is a different story. After all, decisions have real consequences. What I’d better be doing is passionately pursuing what GOD wants me to do instead of what Josh wants to do, because Josh has made some dumb mistakes in his life. However, when I submit to the Omniscient One, my “success vs. mistake” average strangely tips in my favor.
You see, I don’t believe in destiny, I believe in God’s will. I don’t believe in mother nature, I believe in Father God. I don’t believe in the fate of the universe, I believe in God’s plan.
Now, you might be thinking, “But Josh, that may be true for you, but I’m completely different? After all, some people aren’t as scattered as you are, and they’re very driven and grounded in their life.” And to that I would say, “That’s awesome!” I’ll admit that I’m a bit a jealous of those people and view them kind of like mythical creatures from another dimension. Reason being because I can’t even fathom being that much “in control”.
Still though, as cool, and calm, and collected and sure-footed as you may be, you are still finite, and God is infinite. Isaiah 55: 8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” You may be intellectual, but God grossly out thinks you. You may be morally good, but God’s righteousness has no fault or blemish. You may have the respect of men, but God is no respecter of persons. You may be rich, but He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
In summary, what I’m saying is, God knows you MUCH better than you even know yourself. David puts it like this, “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me… thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb… I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… in thy book all my members were written… How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” Psalms 139: 1, 13b, 14a, 16b, 17. God knew you before you even knew yourself. He designed you just like you are (and he got it right the first time btw). He thinks about you more than you can even imagine. You were made with a completely free will. You have the freedom to be whatever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, and pursue whatever passion lights your fire.
You can discover yourself, follow your dreams, do what you want to do and chase happiness to the ends of the earth, and you may end up relatively happy. But please realize that the very BEST that you can come up with on your own doesn’t hold a candle to God’s plan. Remember, you are not alone on your journey. You don’t have to keep shooting in the dark. He truly wants to guide you. Remember Psalm 119:105, “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Pursue Him today, trust Him for tomorrow and allow Him to lead you in the way you ought to go.