Written by Katrina Martin of Toronto, Ontario
You’re gasping for air. Your shaking hands flail frantically, searching for something to hold onto to stop your trembling knees from buckling beneath you. Your heart thunders in your chest like a train in a tunnel. Your head spins like the wheels on the track. Where am I? You ask. There’s a person in front of you, they had asked you a question. What was their question?
And then you remember. It was the question you most dread, that question which paralyzes you with fear and makes you stutter uncontrollably: “What do you want to do with your life?”
Though always well intended and inevitable during any measure of small talk, for a great part of my life I couldn’t help feeling utterly dumbfounded when asked that question. It may be that you cannot relate to this, or perhaps you have known since childhood the path you want to take in life. You may know exactly which program you will study in university or college, exactly which school you will attend, and the job you will work once you graduate.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but laugh when people asked me what my five-year plan was. I didn’t even know what was happening at that present moment, much less five years from now. Yet it was impossible to escape the pressure to figure life out; guidance counsellors, teachers, parents and peers eagerly watched to see which career path I would venture onto, calling out prompts while I stood motionless sweating.
Closely linked to my oblivion regarding my career was a harmful misconception of God’s will. I was desperate for a “God’s Will 101” lesson. Was it God’s will for me to be a teacher or a social worker? Which university was I supposed to go to? Walking in the will of God seemed more like stumbling blindly through a pitch black room, hands out, trying not to take a wrong step and hurt myself.
The truth is, God’s will for you is not a career. Instead, the Bible outlines plainly what it is God desires of His followers – worship God, strive for holiness, and love others.
If you want to do the will of God, then follow the commandments of Jesus and the scriptures.
As long as you are doing these things, it doesn’t matter which school, job or circumstance you are in. God’s desire for us to worship Him, strive for holiness and love others applies everywhere we go and to everyone we encounter. Shocking, I know, yet infinitely freeing. God’s will ceases to be a dangerous tightrope walk where one wrong decision causes calamitous results. It is instead a climb (though often uphill) marked with grace and forgiveness.
Freedom comes when you ask yourself not what you want to be, but who you want to be. Fear dissolves when you consider not what you want to do, but what has been done for you.