This is something that has been on my mind the past couple days. Who in the world really understands life or time? None of us has a clue if we will be alive in five minutes, let alone five years. Life is so short…and it can be over so fast.
And how do we become the people we are? We are born with personalities, but every single choice we make sends us down particular paths. Everywhere we go, we meet different people and encounter different opportunities. Going to one college over another could determine where someone lives, what job they settle on, and for many people, who they will marry. How often do we ponder how we came to where we are?
And then there are the little decisions that change our lives forever: to get in the car with those people, to walk home alone with that guy, or to run inside to grab something quick while the toddler is outside. One stop light, one night, and one moment can leave us wounded for the rest of our lives. We could drive ourselves crazy with the “could have beens.”
And what about the things we can’t control, like what family we are born into and all the messes that each one holds? One child is born into a Christian family, one into an abusive family, and one left in a dumpster on a street in Africa. The things they all will need to overcome and learn, the choices they will make to become people of excellence or victims of their circumstances, and the people that have the opportunity to step into their lives and encourage them down either path is astounding. On one hand, we have such little power; on the other hand, all the power in the world.
There are times in life for all people where they reach a crossroads between what is comfortable, fairly predictable and safe, and the road that is better. The better road will set them apart, cause them to tread through waters they have only dreamed about, and lead them to either a fabulous victory or a fabulous defeat. It is the one opportunity taken that can change a life forever, and it is frightening.
Some people think that God’s will for their lives means that every single choice and decision has a right and wrong answer. A person can literally drive herself insane trying to live by this philosophy. Does God have specific plans for us, or is His will for us to be in relationship wtih Him and the rest of life how we respond with wisdom to the decisions and opportunities that come our way? Does God have specific plans for some and not for others? What about someone called to be a pastor? Is someone called to be a plumber?
And how does someone realize God’s will for his or her life? A terrible accident leaves a man crippled, and he spends the rest of his life ministering to disabled people. One person chooses to leave everything, goes to another country, and opens an orphanage just because that has always been the passion of her heart. Two completely different ways of response, one to circumstances and the other to a deep internal longing, yet they both believe they are living out the purpose for their lives.
I could literally go on all day…these are just a few of the thoughts on my heart…more to come.