My coworker couldn’t agree. “I get that,” he said, “but I don’t act for that reason. I act because I like it. And if it’s bringing me pleasure, is it really all that noble?”
I don’t think his perspective is all that uncommon. I also can’t claim that I don’t relate to it. As an eighteen-year-old, I agonized over college decisions because I wasn’t clear on what God’s will for my life was. I didn’t know where He wanted me to be, what grand sacrifices He wanted me to be making for His people. Even now, I find myself caught in similar dilemmas. As I map my future—whether it’s the next ten years or next five minutes—I still sometimes worry when my plans are filled with things that I enjoy, rather than the martyrdom that I suspect God is looking for.
I don’t know why it’s so easy to assume God is a sloppy manager, standing silently with His arms crossed and waiting for confused workers to guess His priorities. What seems more likely—especially when I think about it—is the idea that God sends a load of signals to direct me in the right direction, not the least of which include my skills and passions. My Higher Power knows who He’s working with. I don’t have the intelligence to read His mind, and I certainly don’t have the strength of will to ardently pursue work—no matter how noble—that doesn’t interest me.
The fact is, in this diverse world, it really does take all kinds. Yes, we need the types, but we need scientists and architects and bankers, too. This is why I find myself coming to God in prayer seeking not to unbury some mystical will, but asking for help focusing in on the desires and impulses of my heart. I believe there’s a reason I love to write, and the first step to realizing my “noble purpose” is to trust the passion that God put in my heart.
I’m not sure he wants any word nerds administering shots to children in third world countries, anyway.
Nudging us behind the knees toward the kitchen,
dropping a ball at our feet.
Always patrolling the perimeter.
She’s ready to serve.
Please give my son a think tank.
Calculating math problems in his head,
breaking down complicated technology
without reading the manual.
He’s ready to serve.
Please give me my life’s work.
Under the tutelage of trials, I earned my stripes;
learned how to stand up and when to fall on my knees.
After falling apart, You put me back together.
I’m ready to serve, so by Your grace,