Don’t Just Wait

It seems like we spend most of our lives waiting. We wait for college, for summer, for the holidays, for Friday. But what does that mean for all the life in between? A lot of times we’re so focused on the “next thing” that we’re completely missing the moment that we’re in.

We do this with practically anything. We trudge through the week while we wait for Friday to get here and then press repeat. We do assignments (sometimes half-heartedly) to get through the class, to get through the semester, to get the degree and finally be done with it. We mope through our jobs, lacking intentionality, until we get the job we really wanted.

Not only does this sap us of the great experiences we could be enjoying in our current stage of life, it robs us of the preparation that time could be giving us for the next stage.

A part-time job in fast food isn’t just a “filler,” a waste of time until the better opportunity comes. It’s temporary, sure, but it’s actually preparing you for the next job in ways that you might not be prepared otherwise.

Time management, handling money, working with people, being punctual, having good work ethic – these are important in any job you have. Chances are you have been involved in some job or task that prepared you for the current task you’re in, even if they’re seemingly unrelated.

From a biblical standpoint, we are called to be faithful with little so that we can be faithful with much (Luke 16:10).The small responsibilities we have while “waiting” for the next ones are testing our character and strengthening us to be prepared for more.

If there is anything I have learned over the past year and a half of college it’s that the process is just as important as the end goal. In fact, the end goal is more often than not wrapped up in the process and we miss it if we spend all our time waiting instead of engaging.

As an Elementary Education major, I hope to one day teach overseas with a missions organization. I’m more than excited for the future. I practically can’t wait to be in the classroom, and sometimes I feel like jumping on a plane and leaving today.

But I know that If I wasn’t at school, being taught the content and the methods that I will use, I would be far from prepared to be a teacher. There are a lot of steps I know I’ll have to go through before I get there.

So I have to soak it all in here. While I see being a teacher as something of an “endpoint,” this current process is crucial – and I should enjoy it. While you’re being prepared, you’re surrounded with opportunities to make awesome friends, engage in extra-curriculars if you’re in school, grow as a person, and look for ways to serve in your current “mission field.”

No matter what you’re waiting for, the time in between isn’t for nothing. No season of life is pointless, and we should always be looking for how we can make the most of our current circumstances. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Seize your opportunities and take this time to be prepared.

How are your current circumstances preparing you for the next chapter of your life? I’d love to hear!

Our Role in God’s Will

As college students, we are daily confronted with questions, the heaviest of which are often about the future. What major should I choose? Will I be able to get a job? Will I be successful? Will I have a family?

Many of us tend to ask, what’s God’s will for my life?

These are often difficult questions to answer, but what if they aren’t the questions we should be asking? Don’t get me wrong, I want the answers to these questions, and I’m sure you do too. I want to know that I’ve picked the right major or whether I’ll someday have kids of my own, and I definitely want to know what God’s will is for my life.

Lately, however, a new question has posed itself that has made me rethink the focus of all of the previous questions I’ve been prone to ask. What if instead of asking what God’s will is for my life, we ask “what is my role in God’s will for the world?

Last semester I had the privilege to take a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, and it really challenged the way I view my relationship with God, His will, and His Word. One of the major insights I gained from this class was that God doesn’t have to use me. But He chooses to. And while He lovingly gave us His Son to bring us back to Himself, it ultimately isn’t about us anyway. It’s not about my personal success, whether I make a lot of money, or even if I end up with a career I love. It’s about His name being praised among all the nations and peoples of the world. His will for the world is that the world would glorify Him.

Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Our purpose is to truly know Him and make Him known. And that doesn’t necessarily mean vocational ministry or going overseas as a missionary. But what it also doesn’t mean is spending our lives chasing something akin to the American Dream, hoping to find out what joys God has in store for us personally while neglecting to realize that our lives aren’t really for us anyway. The question needs to shift from an inward-focused desire to be fulfilled to an outward-focused desire to fulfill His purpose.

This of course is not to say that God doesn’t have individual plans for us. I truly believe He does. He gives us ambitions and talents and desires, but those plans He constructs correspond with His ultimate purpose to make His name known all over the world – whether or not they end up looking like the plans we had for ourselves.

We are all called to follow Him, abandoning what we must abandon and going where we must go in whatever way best brings glory to His name, that every tongue, tribe, and nation would stand in praise of Him.