In the last few weeks several people have shared with me, their uncertainty as to what on earth they should be doing. Life seems to be raising lots of ‘what/where/when’ questions.
Truth is, I ask myself the same questions. I don’t have a recognised job, but I am occupied from dawn to dusk; I don’t receive much in the way of recognition, but deep down I think I am doing the right thing; I don’t have promotions to secure, but does this really matter?
Years ago, I worked for the Iona Community, and a line from one of the liturgies imprinted itself on my mind:
You [God] promised us nothing by way of success, possessions, recognition, or reward.
‘These things will come at the right time when you walk with me’ you said.
‘God’s timing’ isn’t about some puppeteer pulling strings, but about us being receptive and responsive, no strings attached. It’s not about bargaining, but believing.
So, what are some answers to ‘what on earth’ questions?
First, I believe that God’s approach to our road trip through life, is often different to ours. I’m the kind of person that likes to know where I’m going and how, but God seems to favour last-minute arrangements.
And for good reason. It gives God positive opportunities to provide for us. It’s not for nothing, we are urged to pray ‘Give us today our daily bread’ Matthew 6:11
‘What on earth’ is about putting our gifts, abilities, and resources to best use. It’s not about recognition or reward, but filling the gaps we see and finding fulfilment in this.
Next, I believe that we hold within us, the answers to our ‘What on earth’ questions. Other people can listen, reflect back, and encourage, but we have to recognise God’s day by day itinerary for ourselves.
A piece of advice that I follow, is that when unsure of what you’re meant to be doing, go back to God’s last clear signpost, and take it from there.
Third, I believe that when we feel we’ve hit ‘the wall’, it’s not the end of the road.
Maybe something was right for us when we first set out, but now the landscape has changed. Or maybe we made a misguided choice to begin with. Whatever, I believe that nothing is beyond the touch of God.
But it’s not a magical touch, it’s an enabling nudge – urging us to become more fully our true selves.
Truth is… Send your light and your truth, may they lead me. (Psalm 43:3)