I’ve written about how to find direction in college in a previous post. So, if that’s what you’re wondering, read that. To answer the question, “How do I find my calling?” I must rant.
I hear people say ALL THE TIME…
God called me to Nashville.
I just kept praying, asking God what He wanted me to do with my life. And then God revealed my calling… to be a teacher!
I just knew that God was calling me to go to James Madison University. (shout out to the alma mater!)
I think God is calling us to break up.
We LOVE to say God called us to do something.
Now, I am all for saying– this is where my passions are, this is what gets me up in the morning, this excites me, I want to, God has provided opportunities to, my experiences and passions point me in this direction…. etc.
What I am not okay with is the mysticism the church has created in finding your calling from God. God does not have some secret plan from your life that He will only reveal to you in a supernatural way, if you hold your breath and cross your fingers just right. Nor does God have some specific calling from your life that will suddenly dawn on you and will be a complete shock having nothing to do with your previous interest, experience, or wiring. And, God forbid, you miss your calling, THEN what on earth are you supposed to make of your life?
That all sounds horrible to me.
I really struggled with this in college. I could not figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. I researched many avenues and felt so worried that I would chose the wrong thing. I knew I could be good in several areas–but what if I chose a path that wasn’t God’s calling? What if I didn’t choose His best?
I remember, clear as day, sitting in the front pew at a Moody Bible Institute chapel service, where Professor Howard Hendricks was the guest speaker. I had flown to Chicago to visit my family and went to work with my dad (who worked at Moody) for the day. Prof leaned across the pulpit and said, “Most–if not all–of you in this room, are desperately trying to figure out what your calling is. Stop stressing. It’s much more simple than you think.” He went on to say that the way we decide what to do with our lives, is to consider the intersection of where our strengths lie and what experiences God had already placed in our lives.
The bottom line is: It’s not a secret code; it’s not a supernatural epiphany; it’s a decision. It’s a decision that you and I get to make based on our interests and experiences. That’s it.
God did not call you to Nashville. You wanted to move to Nashville. There are probably 12 reasons why it was a great decision to move to Nashville, but don’t try to blame your decision on God by using the “He called me” card.
God definitely did not call you to break up with your boyfriend. You decided to break up with your boyfriend. Maybe you even broke up with him for really good reasons, but again, let’s not blame your decision making abilities on God.
Are you with me?
There is an amazing book written by Kevin DeYoung called Just Do Something: A liberating approach to finding God’s Will (OR how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.) Kevin breaks down what the Bible says about “The Will of God” — His will of decree, His will of desire, and His will of direction — and what that means for you and me when making life decisions. It is a great read that I highly recommend. In fact, I give it to my high school graduates every year as they embark for college.
So, if you aren’t buying what I’m saying, or just still wanting to chew on this concept, read Kevin DeYoung’s book.
AND I’m going to make this super easy for you. Comment on this post & next Tuesday morning, I will draw two names and the lucky winners will receive a free copy of Just Do Something!