living a life

My good friend, Nathan, asked: “What should I do with my life?”

My opinion:

How the heck should I know? Maybe you should join the circus or something. You could be an excellent trapeze artist or a juggler. Actually, you’d do really well as a carnival barker, or one of those guys that draws caricatures of little kids surfing for forty bucks a pop.

Really, though, that’s the thing about you: You’re an amazingly talented person.

You’ve got that songwriting thing happening, the musical ability, the fantastic art skills, the newspaper experience, and now, to top it all off, you have the college degree.

So, when I dig down and think of my heart’s desire for you, and really attempt to discern where your life could be headed, taking into consideration all of those talents and abilities . . . I still have to say:

How the heck should I know?

I mean, I don’t know even know what I should do with my life.

But then I think, I wonder what God intended when he put all of those ingredients, along with family and friends and other relationships and circumstances, into that guy I know as Nathan?

I don’t know the answer to that question either, but that’s not the point.

The point is that God intended something, and this is not just important for you, Nathan, but for me, too, and for every one of us who asks this question so frequently.

God intended something when he made you, and as he continues to shape your life, we have to believe he is determined to see the outcome he has intended to see. The beauty in this truth is the comfort available in knowing there is a right answer to the question.

God knows the answer. God has the answer. God made the answer . . . then he taught you the question.

The difficulty, of course, is getting him to share the answer with you. Apparently, God doesn’t write blogs, or emails, or memos for that matter. He’s hard to get on the phone, and he’s never in the office. He never sleeps, though, and as far as we know, he’s only taken one vacation day since creation. So how do you get him to spill the beans?

I don’t know the answer to that either . . . but I do have an opinion.

I believe God is always talking to each of us, individually and collectively. I think he’s speaking to you today, and he’s longing for you to be listening close enough to respond without coercion.

God is speaking to you through the circumstances, through the abilities, through the education, and through the relationships. Most importantly, and most clearly, God is providing an answer to your question – not necessarily all of it all at once, but step by step – through your own heart.

I believe there is something akin to a homing device buried in the recesses of your soul. Your relationship with Christ has activated it, and the love you have for him compels you to seek and not be satisfied with temporal alternatives.

Any answer to the question of how to spend your life which isn’t coming through him, and isn’t for him, is at best a tragic misunderstanding, and at worst, an outright lie.

He made you, and he knows you. He knows where you are, where you’ve been, and where you need to go to have all he intended you to have. He won’t give you the whole story all at once, so don’t get your hopes up. He knows how to keep an audience in suspense, and he likes that way.

Ask God. Ask him daily. Ask him without ceasing. Don’t bother asking anyone else, and don’t bother thinking selfishly about the answer. Then take the steps that you can see to take – one foot in front of the other – and before you know it, you’ll be able to look back and see the answer to your question.

5 thoughts on “living a life”

  1. “I believe God is always talking to each of us, individually and collectively. I think he’s speaking to you today, and he’s longing for you to be listening close enough to respond without coercion.”

    I like that. A lot.

  2. Megan is cooler than Nathan by 10.

    Dale is cooler than anyone by 12.

    God is cooler than Dale by 17.

    If Nathan is 42, solve for God.

    I wish it was that easy. It is that easy. I can’t be that easy. Look, it’s that easy!

    Thanks for the words, I love you man. Here’s the thing:

    It’s so simple and so hard. I know what I need to do, deep down, and I know what I shouldn’t do, and I find myself endlessly doing some of what I shouldn’t do and a little of what I should, but not all, and then asking God what His will is for my life when I already know, but have ignored or partially ignored it. This is nothing new or unique, everyone does it, but still…

    That’s also my long-time-in-coming response to your long-ago-written essay about love. It’s so simple, the answer is right there, and yet I find myself not doing it and then complaining about how I haven’t done it.

    Why do we do this to ourselves? The answer is so obvious it makes the question trite. Don’t look at me, I’m hideous. Do what you know you should do because God put it in your heart. Do it always. But the world is full of distractions and so our lives grind towards mediocre halts because we continually apply the brakes so we can get out and eat a cheeseburger even though we’re on our way toward a wedding feast. Every once in a while a Dale comes along to remind us to get back on track. Such are the days of man.

    Will Nathan find the strength to change his evil ways and do what he ought to? Tune next week for the exciting conclusion to Ninja Robot: A Life in the Balance.

    Thanks, buddy.

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