By Adam Prusinski, Bethel Seminary St. Paul
Dear younger me,
If you would, give me a few moments of your precious time. I see the restless thoughts which continually rob you of peace and contentment. Things like: “What if I choose the wrong career? What if being a (fill in the blank) doesn’t make me happy? Is it wrong I don’t wanna work for the ‘church’?” Perhaps my sobering words will answer these questions and bring you peace.
The truth is, God’s greatest commandment, to love Him with all your being, is the greatest calling on your life. Consequently, God will orient all of life in such a way that you learn to love Him. When you learn to see life, work and God through this lens, your restless thoughts will disappear and give-way to peace. Before we can understand how, you need to realize we live in a terribly broken world.
This truth affects work, life and even your relationship with God. Despite this, you must not blame the blameless one. God is first and foremost holy and without sin. In His sovereignty, He chose to use pain, among many other elements, to lead us. You must learn to accept this condition as part of your reality. Until you do, you’ll continually have unrealistic expectations for work, life and God. However, this truth should not prevent us from seeking to eradicate pain.
Through God’s greatest commandment, all of creation will be healed and restored. When we learn to love God, He heals our internal world, then sends us to heal the external the world. This is the operating principle for God’s greatest commandment which will change your life and the world. How it can change your life will become clear when we address your restless questions.
What if I choose the wrong career?
Learning to love God means trusting Him both with this moment and your future. He is in-control, you are not. Trust Him to guide you one day at-a-time as He fulfills the desires of your heart. Do not worry about the future, nor be stuck in the past. What you desire most comes about when you are fully present for His leadership here and now. To reach the top of a ladder, you must grab the rung in-front of you. You cannot jump to the top nor to the conclusion of your life. You must take one small step at a time. Until you practice this and let go of outcomes, you’ll only delay the good things God has planned for you. You must learn to trust the present moment however joyful or painful as key to the future God desires. When you do this, peace and contentment will guide your journey.
What if being a (fill in the blank) doesn’t make me happy?
Learning to love God means finding your ultimate identity in Him. Saying things like, “I’m going to be a care pastor,” as opposed to, “I’m going to fulfill the role of a care pastor,” are evidence of your identity crisis. Placing your identity outside of God leads you chasing the wind. No occupation nor accomplishment will ever confirm what you know is true, that you are a priceless creation. Only an infinite, perfect God is capable of affirm your greatness. This of course comes through learning to love Him or living in His greatest calling for your life. When you learn to do place your identity in God, prideful barriers and the need to prove your worth will disappear.
Is it wrong I don’t want to work for the church?
No. You must go where God leads you. God can use any occupation to fulfill His greatest calling on your life. With this in mind, the dichotomy of holy and secular work becomes irrelevant. All work is holy if God uses it to change you. Therefore, let Him lead you into whatever occupation He chooses, knowing ultimately, that your identity is found in Christ and His leadership is bringing about the desires of your heart. That is, that you would learn to Love Him with all your being. Rest in this truth. It is the guiding principle for your life.
Your future self.
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