Planning Life

I just arrived back at home after class to an empty house – my parents and grandmother are at a show my sister is performing in – and I am certainly grateful for the time of quiet solitude, be it short as it is. I sat down on our couch and browsed through some of my Twitter feed and came across this tweet. Maybe it was the "what are you doing?" that caught my attention. Apparently there is a group of Chinese Christians who have been and are preaching and spreading the gospel as they walk by foot from China to Jerusalem. I didn't actually read much about this group of Christians, but hearing "what are you doing?" and then reading about the amazing life-giving, cross-bearing, unashamed preaching of the gospel by my brothers and sisters in China…this made my mind stir. And it is still stirring.
What am I going to do with my life?

Often times when I hear of Christians clearly giving up the "normal" life that 99.9% of humans will settle in and hear of the "radical" life – or what I would argue really should be ordinary for Christians – I am moved to thoughts like these:
  • "Ok, so I'm gonna move out of America, learn Chinese, and join these fellow laborers in China on this mission they have."
  • "Wait, what about my hometown, Syracuse? There are hundreds of thousands of people who are lost and under the power of sin right here in my backyard and in my life. Why not stay here? I have certainly felt burdened recently somewhat for their souls…"
  • "So does this mean I have to be a church planter? I know the church I am at now, Missio, has an awesome passion for reaching the lost. Does this mean that I am supposed to be here?"
  • "What about the people in Peru? I spent two summers there as a missionary! But wouldn't it be easier to stay where I am now? I don't know Spanish well."
  • "What about a wife? If I get married anytime soon, how in the world will that play into these thoughts?"
  • "Thus far, I have really sucked at obeying the great commission. (Matthew 28:16-20) Is this a turning point where I will actually begin to do this?"
  • "God's calling. I don't believe in God speaking audibly to people or the like kind of "being called" experiences. But what am I to do with these feelings and thoughts? Should I just make a decision and abandon my life thus far and devote all my plans to God, knowing that his purpose will prevail? (Proverbs 19:21)"
Yeah, so those are the kind of wonderful, frustrating, teetering-on-the-edge of total (22 year?) life crisis, muddy thoughts I am experiencing now. Thank God (literally) that I actually can rest on the promise of Proverbs 19:21, 16:1,9. I can make plans. God will direct my life into the specific path he will have me walk in.

I can plan to be a CPA for a few years. I can plan to finish my MBA and then join in church planting. I could move away from Syracuse. I could get married and begin a family. I don't know which one of these (or whatever else may befall my life) I will choose and plan to live out, but I know that God's purpose will prevail. His purpose might match one of my plans. It might not. I don't know, and I don't really need to exhaust all my energy trying to figure out; I know he will lead me where he wills. But will I trust him in this? That is the question. For my knowledge is increasing, but will my faith grow as well? Will I trust him to carry me through? Will I believe?

1 comment:

  1. You know, sometimes I feel guilty about the fact that I am not somewhere in a developing nation on missions like so many other people I know. But then I realize all the opportunities that God gives me right in front of my face.

    The WHOLE world is our mission field, and though it seems that where we are is better off than the rest of the world, it really isn't. I mean, yes, we live more luxurious lives where we don't worry about our basic needs being met. But, this country is SO broken and has fallen SO far. and our churches actually are negatively affected by the fact that we do live in a country where most of us have our basic needs met. I think no country has any more or less need for missionaries because sin is sin, and injustice is injustice. Rather, each country has different kinds of sins that plague them, and every single broken soul cries out with an equal amount of urgency to be saved.

    So, don't be discouraged, and continue to have faith. Even if we sometimes feel like we aren't doing enough in this world, bear in mind that there is a reason why God places us where we are.