You’re in that awkward time when you’re trying to figure out what the next step is in your life. How can any 17 year old really know for sure where the future will lead and what preparations should be made to head in that direction? Maybe some know for sure…but most of us would have to admit there was quite a bit of trial and error at that stage of life. Not fun…because most of us like to think we know what we’re doing and where we’re going. Most of us don’t prefer the error side of that equation.
But we might as well be honest and open to the reality that you will error, head in one direction and possibly change course, decide you made a mistake, etc. and it will be ok. Life is not a test. Life is not about right and wrong answers and coloring in the right letter on a scan tron sheet to be graded. Life is full of choices. Many directions that could very well accomplish the same purpose.
Yesterday we watched a video together about focusing more on the ‘why’ of life instead of the ‘what’. That’s not always natural or easy to do. Most of us are prone to focus on the what, how to get there, not why we are headed in a direction in the first place.
This morning I woke up thinking about my own ‘why’ question. I would like to say that it’s clear and easily put into one sentence. I would like to say that all of my ‘what’ has added up to my ‘why’ but I’m sure it probably hasn’t.
Back in the 90’s a book came out called “The Purpose Driven Life” and honestly it was such a big best seller because most of us struggle with the ‘why’ in life. We go through our days in endless repetition and wonder why it always feels like something is missing. Years go by and we wonder what we’ve spent our life on. I believe from what I can remember of that book that the ‘why’ in it was to bring glory to God.
A worthy why.
This morning I also feel that the verses of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself are also worthy ‘whys’ to live by.
For Paul in the bible I think his ‘why’ was to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.
For me often my why has been about bringing beauty and goodness, awareness of God in whatever I’m doing and wherever I am.
I’m not sure there is one right answer for everyone that fits…sure all of us are to be bringing glory to God in the process, but for each of us that will look different. I can bring glory to God as I love well, as I come to know Christ and experience His presence and power in my life and as I do my part in bringing beauty to the world.
And I have surely not exhausted the list of ‘whys’ that are out there. Some are far more specific for people which causes people like your brother and sister in law, Chad and Sarah to leave the United States and run an orphanage in Uganda!
What is your ‘why’? If you’re like me you might think…I have no idea.
But that is the question that I encourage you to talk with God about and then to listen to. I encourage you to talk about that, even more than about career choices. I encourage you to sit down and be still and write down the thoughts that come to your mind from the Holy Spirit as you try to listen to His still small voice in your soul.
When I was in college I thought I was going to become a missionary to a foreign land. I had felt the tug on my heart since I was a child when we hosted missionaries in our home and whenever missionaries came to church camp I felt such compassion. I wanted to be willing in my walk with God to go wherever He might call me. I assumed that would mean some terrible snake infested place and often even had bad dreams about it. My thinking was a little warped :).
I even broke up with your dad a time or two when we were dating because I wanted to be sure that the call on my life was answered before my desire for a relationship. Your dad wasn’t real interested in boarding a plane to go to a foreign land!
I was trying to seek out God’s will for my life. Oh if only it could’ve been written on the sky so it would’ve been clear and easy for me to follow!!
But in reality…it doesn’t work that way. God only gives us enough light to see the next step generally speaking, so we move steadily and with deep trust one step at a time down the path of life. We learn to listen to the voice of God and sense when we are even just a bit off the path and quickly adjust if possible. We often realize in the walking forward that we have wide open spaces in which to live. God is a freedom giver!
In this time of your life…before you even lock into a career, a college, a course of study or anything else…be sure to take time to talk to God about your ‘why’. Why has he put you…Lydia Ann Jackson on the face of the earth at this time? How can you bring glory to God? How can you love Him and others the best? How can you be more aware of His presence and bring beauty and goodness to your corner of the world? What tugs at your heart? What breaks your heart? What are you willing to give your life for?
I love you. I believe in you. I know God will lead you. I look forward to watching you each step of the way.
Love your momma who believes you have a special ‘why’ down within that God is just waiting to whisper to you as you listen.