Hi, my name is Zach, I’m a senior in college, and I have no idea what I’m going to do after college.
If I could time-travel and I could bring my 18-year-old self to the future to read that last sentence, he would be terrified out of his mind. I’m the kind of person that needs a goal. I need something to be driving towards all the time. I need purpose. And purpose is something that I don’t really seem have a whole lot of right now.
3 years ago, I started college with the intent to double major so that I could get a really good job so that I could make a lot of money. I thought that by now, I’d have a stellar GPA, a nice three-piece suit, and really good job prospects. I thought after college, I’d be moving to Atlanta to live in a nice apartment that I paid for with my well-paying office job. I thought that I’d have my crap together.
Fast-forward to right now: I’m a business management major with a GPA that can be best described as “meh”. I hate most of my major classes. I haven’t had an internship because I’ve spent the last two summers working at a Christian summer camp. I have no intention of getting a traditional nine-to-five. Honestly, my life is pretty much the definition of flying by the seat of one’s pants.
The reason I’m telling y’all about my somewhat train wreck of a life is that I feel like us millennial Christians are super worried about our futures. We’re worried about whether we’re going to get the right job, move to the right city, marry the right spouse. As Christians, the Church teaches us to spend our time worrying about staying in God’s will. And that is certainly important But I think we’ve missed something. And that is that God wants us to get where he wants us to go more than we do.
God is the most powerful being in the universe. Yet we spend sleepless nights worrying about whether a decision we make will mess up God’s plan. By doing that, we are implying that God can somehow be surprised by anything we do. “Woah, I didn’t anticipate Zach doing that. Gotta go back to the drawing board now.” No. God’s not in heaven wringing his hands, hoping that we make the right choices so that we can fulfill his plan. God’s plan will be fulfilled no matter what. There’s literally nothing we can do to change that.
Please hear me. Yes, it’s vitally important to seek the Lord’s will in our decision-making. We should cover our decisions in prayer. But we shouldn’t let our fear of making the wrong choice prevent us from making the right one. In Psalm 119:133, the writer says to the Lord, “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” We pray this verse and verses like it and we assume it means that we are to stand still until the Lord gives us an itinerary. But if you read the verse, it says “direct my steps”. The verse is assuming that steps are being taken and the psalmist wants the Lord to direct them. Many times, we are paralyzed because we don’t know if the Lord wants us to do X, Y, or Z. But here’s the thing: God gives us choice. I believe that if we truly seek the Lord’s face and he doesn’t give you a specific direction, we are free to choose our preference
God gives us desires and hopes and dreams for a reason. There’s a reason you love the things you love. It’s because God crafted you that way. God also wants us to be happy. He’s not up in heaven, planning ways to make us miserable. He’s not in heaven making his will some complicated puzzle we have to decipher. If we have dreams and desires and they’re not against the Bible and God hasn’t told us no, then I say we go for it! What do we have to lose? We have the freedom to make choices and I believe the Lord wants us to prayerfully use that freedom. If something’s not in God’s will, he will make that abundantly clear when we seek his face.
Some of the best things in my life have come about because I made seemingly arbitrary choices. But looking back on it, I can see the Lord’s hand in all of it. I attend the University of Georgia because as a senior in high school, my mom made me go on a visit. I didn’t want to but when I visited, I fell in love with the place. So I decided to attend. And these past three years have been the best years of my life. The reason I work at the camp I do is because, some dude came to my school to recruit and I decided to apply on a whim. I got the job and I decided to take it. A summer and a half later, Pine Cove has been one of the most influential parts of my life.
Do I know where my life is headed? Nope. But I do know that the Lord has given me gifts and passions. I believe he wants me to use them. And until he tells me otherwise, I’ll pursue them. I believe the Lord would have us in a state of listening to what he tells us while simultaneously moving forward in boldness. God doesn’t intend for us to go through life worried about whether we messed up his plan or not. He’s way more invested in his plan for our lives than we are.