Written by Emily Huggard
As we pass the halfway point in the academic year and final exams and deadlines begin to loom, there is one question that all final year students dread facing – what are you doing next year? Whether the question is from a well-meaning auntie, a friendly lecturer, a pushy parent or a smug friend (who does know what they’re doing next year), the fear that this question evokes is ever the same. Because, for many students, the answer is ‘I just don’t know’.
And for students who follow Jesus, there’s a whole other range of questions that play on the mind – what is God’s purpose for my life? What if I accidentally miss God’s plan and go the wrong way? What if God never tells me what it is I’m supposed to do? What if He calls me into something that I don’t really want to do?
On Saturday 28 March, St Nic’s is hosting ‘Routed’ – a day conference for students who are soon to transition out of student life into the world of work. We want to set a whole day aside to give you space to properly consider, not just what you are doing next year, but how, in that next season, you will live for Jesus.
The thing is, God is far more interested in forming you than in what you do. The first question God asks of humanity in Genesis, is ‘Ayeka’ – ‘where are you’? And not ‘where are you physically?’; not ‘what part of the garden are you in, Adam?’, but ‘where are you in relation to me?’ God’s primary call for us is a call to intimacy with Him, a call to pursue friendship with God. And the more we pursue relationship with God, the more our characters are formed into His likeness. There is comfort in knowing that God can do this wherever we end up post-uni – whatever job we find ourselves in and whatever city or town we choose as home. And this means that we don’t need to be paralysed by the fear of accidentally pursuing the ‘wrong’ career. Often, it is better to do something and let God work through that, then do nothing. Kevin DeYoung sums this up in the title of his excellent book Just Do Something.
And yet still, God has a specific calling for your life. Rich Wilson puts it like this, God ‘has plans, dreams and assignments for you. They are bespoke, tailored and specific to you and the unique person he has made you to be…Much of what God asks of you is already in you. What are you passionate about? When do you feel most alive? What are you good at? The call of God is designed to resonate with who you are’. God wants to speak to us about His dreams for us and He will tell us in His timing (not ours). And so as we listen and wait, we are called to keep on pressing into relationship with Him and to discover the things that God has already put inside of us. Karl Martin says ‘How do you discover what God has got for you? How about start by finding the triangulation point between your greatest complaint, your clearest dream and your biggest gift.’
So, take comfort as you trust in God. What are you doing next year? – my hope and prayer is that you’ll be pursuing relationship with God wherever you are, knowing He can use any situation to form you more into His likeness. My hope is that you’ll be trusting that He’ll reveal His dreams for you in His perfect timing. And my hope is that you’ll be doing something (not nothing), pressing into and discovering the things that God has got for you. I’m excited to see where He leads you.
These are just a few of the books that I have found useful when considering God’s calling in my life…
- A Call Less Ordinary (Rich Wilson)
- Lead (Karl Martin)
- Garden City (John Mark Comer)
- Just Do Something (Kevin DeYoung)