It was a cold, gray mid-March day in 2007, and I had taken off a few days of work to stay home with my wife after she had surgery. She was resting on the couch and I was standing at the kitchen sink doing some dishes. As I worked, I stared out the window. I wasn’t really looking at anything in particular. I guess you could say I got lost in the moment… thinking about life. It was, and still is something I do many times a day. Most people likely do this without even realizing it. It’s sort of like a system check… Running through the list of priorities in your life.
In general, my ‘system’ checked out OK – loving marriage – check, happy family – check, money in the bank – check, spend time with God – check, etc.. But, there was always a snag, a twinge in my heart when it came to the “purpose of my life” category… kind of a big one. Though one many of us put on the back burner as long as we have a decent job that pays the bills. This was the rut I was in for many years, and that little ‘twinge’ started to really hurt. My wife saw it almost daily for a number of years. She was always supportive and would tell me to do whatever I wanted to do. And there lied the problem – I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I felt like I had followed every trail of breadcrumbs – interests, hobbies, talents, and ended up nowhere. Of course, I also prayed about it. I begged God to show me what to do … to tell me what He wanted me to do with my life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but He had already answered me in my own prayers.
When it came right down to it, I only wanted to do what God wanted me to do. As I stood at the kitchen sink that morning, at the most unlikely time, God spoke to me clearly, and concisely. He told me I could stop searching for my purpose in life, and that my only purpose was to follow Him wherever He leads me. It felt as if He gently rubbed ointment on my tired and aching heart as he lifted the blindfold from my eyes. I could finally see, feel and understand. I was so very excited and so at peace simultaneously… a magnificent release of years of self-imposed pressure.
However, in my enthusiasm I got a little ahead of God’s plan for me. I almost immediately began trying to decide how I was going to quit my job, and go to seminary. Again, the stress and anxiousness returned. The more I pressed, the worse it got. God did not directly intervene this time. But, He did open my heart to be able to hear the Holy Spirit and listen to that still, small voice… “Follow Me.” (He said). He gave me the realization that I needed to have the faith, and patience to follow Him. In doing so, He helped me understand He will meet all of my needs and take me to the destination He has planned for me. I have gratefully accepted His call on my life, and I am equally as grateful for the journey. Now, there is peace and fulfillment every day because I know I have answered the call.