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Figuring Out Faith

Like a lot of people these days, I find myself in my late 20s and lost. I wish it was uncommon or out of the ordinary, but I suspect there are quite a few of us out there watching all our friends thrive in their careers or find love, get married and start having children. When you think of a single person turning 30, you might picture a librarian with lots of cats or the already divorced single person who got married way too early.

Aside from seeming to miss the boat to true love island, I’m still struggling to find my calling in life. I can tell you nothing has been a more challenging journey then finding what fulfills me and more importantly fulfills God’s will in my life. I have prayed about this and drove everyone I know nuts asking questions about career paths, or going so far as to start pursuing careers and then backing out or becoming discouraged. I had, by the age of 25, been a disc jockey, financial aid counselor, computer technician and briefly taught high school. None of these occupations fit and all fell apart for various reasons.

In the meantime I’ve searched for some hope that I’m not wasting my life waiting until I find the right fit. Maybe I should just settle for something comfortable and resign to find meaning in other areas of my life. So for a while I worked on a masters in information systems and hoped that would lead me to a good solid “career” where I could make decent money and focus on the other lacking areas in my life. Halfway through the degree, I had a change of heart. I was never 100 percent committed to this path and a few months ago my grandmother passed away. Her death really affected me and made me wonder what more I could do in my own life.

Once again, I find myself back at square one with the career path. I suspect when I figure out what direction I’m heading in then everything else will fall into place. It does take an enormous amount of faith to know God will put you where you belong and in His time, not yours. Sometimes we feel the need to push God along. Now I’m really realizing that is the worst mistake you can make as a Christian. The Lord may help those who help themselves, but I doubt He has patience for those who don’t extend Him the same courtesy.

After years of praying and sending out résumés I’ve finally resolved to let the Lord reveal the path He has chosen for me on His terms and in His time. Unfortunately, as I have found patience with this facet of my life, I’ve felt even more determined to push other areas where I feel a need. In a weak moment of loneliness, I started searching through the internet personals. I went this route a few times and inevitably it led to a dead end. I’m not saying others cannot find love through the information superhighway, but for me it has led to an off ramp that is still under construction.

At night, when it is quiet and I am about to drift off to bed, I find myself praying for answers to what have been the two most elusive gifts in life. I want, in the worst way, to find love and a vocation. I don’t suspect I’m any different than anyone else. I’m finally reaching the point where I am starting to accept all the pushing in the world will not prod God to action. He has a divine plan that I could never possibly understand, let alone change. So I must accept these things will be found in God’s time and maybe, just maybe, His will for my life may not involve the things I am looking for. After all, these are gifts and not entitlements.

Next time you pray for something that is missing in your life, take a moment and remember the time Jesus led by example. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was faced with a destiny that no man could comprehend. At that moment, full knowing what suffering lay ahead, he prayed “not as I will, but as thou wilt." Despite what we want for ourselves, the lesson here is that our earnest prayers should be praying for the fulfillment of God’s will and not our own. We can not possibly make better decisions than the Lord. Consequently, I have taken to making my prayers more like that of Jesus.

We simply have to ask for God’s will to be done in our lives. What we decide for ourselves might bring temporary happiness or offer a band-aid to life’s bigger wounds, but a personal relationship with Jesus is designed for the long haul. He sees inside us, beyond us, into the future and through our desires to know what is best for us.

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I recently read a letter my grandmother wrote to my own mother before she passed away. It was very positive about what potential I have and all my great traits. What a blessed message to receive after you lose a loved one. What she closed with was the message that I have no doubt in my mind was meant for me to read at that very moment. Simply, it said “I do not worry about Jon, because I know that he only wants to fulfill God’s will in his life.” I think I’m now becoming wise enough to do just that.

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