I would be lying if I said that I am in the best place, both emotionally and spiritually, that I have ever been. In reality, I’m in one of the most frustrating seasons I have experienced in my life. I’m in a spot where I don’t know where I am supposed to go, and what I am supposed to do. You see, at this moment in time there are several things I want in life, yet it seems as though it is impossible to have all those things at the same time. This is incredibly frustrating because I don’t know which things to pursue and which ones to give up. However, my frustration, I think, doesn’t stem from having too many options and not enough direction but rather from the fact that I’ve been asking the wrong question. I’ve been so focused on finding out what I want in my life and then trying to force God’s plans into that, that I missed the reality that my plans cannot and should not precede those of the Father. In the pursuit of discovering the purpose of my existence, and the reasons for my gifts and talents, I mistakenly looked inward at my desires and thought that I could decide from that perspective what I should do. I have been asking, “What do I want?”, when all along I should have been asking, “What does God want and how can I participate in His plan?”.
I think that in the general discussion of purpose we often approach finding one’s calling as if it were a cross-section, plotting first the things we love and want, and then plotting out our understanding of the will of God. We then see where these trajectories intersect, and think “this point is where God must want me.” This approach isn’t totally wrong, and is actually really helpful in finding out some of the ways God has called us and prepared us to serve Him, as well as His will. However, when this is our only view of the interaction between our will and that of God’s, I think we miss a lot and limit our understanding of fitting within God’s will to a just a few distinct points. The truth of the matter is that our lives are to be so devoted to the will of God that our fitting in with His will is not limited to just a few intersecting points, but rather is to be seen at every point and in every aspect of our lives.
As followers of Christ we are to “seek first His kingdom.” I think this clearly means that the will of God must be our primary focus and desire. Our perspective on the will of God must dictate our will, not the other way around. The result of this should be that my will becomes so reflective of God’s will that the plot of my heart should be indistinguishable from that of God’s. This means that the hopes and the desires of my heart that do not fit with the will of God, regardless of whether or not they are morally fine and good in their own right, must be submissive.
This is a painful thought, because to be willing to submit some of my desires I have to have faith and trust in God’s sovereignty rather than my strengths and own capabilities. In my life, this is the hardest thing to do, but is one of the things most vital to spiritual health. It is because of this, that I am at a point in life where I must rethink my plans, goals and dreams, seek first the will of God, and be willing to submit my will to His, regardless of what that is.