Has God called me or am I just following a career path?
I was coming to the end of my psychology degree and it was decision time. I’d enjoyed my studies so I could see myself pursuing a career in Psychology, but a nagging doubt stalked me. Is this obvious next step really my step of following Christ?
In the midst of my decision making, I went out to Romania over New Year seeing friends and hanging out in the snowy mountains. One cold Sunday morning we headed to a lively Pentecostal church. Worshippers raised their arms and passionately sung out in Romanian. I couldn’t pronounce a word, so the best I could offer was an enthusiastic hum and an odd clap.
As the worship proceeded, I leaned into God some more, asking and dreaming about my future. I was surprised as I sensed a specific leading. I felt the Holy Spirit impress on me to postpone the next step into Psychology because there was something else for me.
I thought Psychology was the way forward, it was a passion for years and nothing else was on the horizon. Unexpectedly, I found myself at a crossroads.
Do I take the next steps to plan my graduate life or will I obey this leading?
I decided to take the risk of postponing my plans. A month later I was offered a job at my church to cover the maternity leave for the office manager. I took the job postponing my career plan.
The following year I took on a church role to lead the student work, again postponing my career plan. The call was not immediate, it was a growing in me though. The joy of this calling was not so much the task of church ministry, but the joy of God’s leading and Presence.
God’s faithful presence was intoxicating when work felt like it was suffocating at times.
In a way calling is simple. It means to listen and follow Christ closely, one step at a time, enjoying His Presence.
You might go on a specific career path - a doctor, accountant, engineer to name a few - but the real goal to pursue is the upward call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14) where all our work is done in Christ’s name and with thanksgiving (Col 3:17).
That moment in Romania hearing and responding to God might not have made a difference to me being offered a church job or accepting it. Usually, God doesn’t put so much weight on a moment like that. The calling of God is not a tightrope or something you can miss easily.
The significance of that moment was learning to listen and follow Christ’s voice even if it didn’t make sense.
Are you ready to listen and follow Christ at those crossroads decisions even when it doesn’t make sense?
Will you follow Christ in the ordinary day to day, doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus?