step by step oh baby
before we go any further, i would like to point out that yes that is, in fact, a new kids on the block reference in the title of this post. it just felt right.
i’ve wanted to write this post for about a week and a half. it’s been on my heart for a little longer than that. originally, it was going to be part four in my four posts to end 2009 and start 2010. however, no one was reading those (seriously, like 12 views a day) and i thought this was actually somewhat important and wanted to wait til there was a chance that more people would read it.
january 2010 is an interesting time. right now, at 11:10 pm on january 10, i know that i am four months and five days from graduating from seminary. while that is awesome, it is extremely scary/nerve-wrecking/intimidating to think that in four months and five days, i don’t have school to fall back on. i won’t be able to say, “well i’m in school so i can just get a part time job and just make it.” the playing around is over after that point. it’s grow up and get on with it time after that.
but where do i even start?
what’s my next step?
where do i go from here?
i wish that god would mail me a letter (cause that would be infinitely cooler than getting an e-mail from god) that said this:
hey jonathan. god here. i know you’re about to finish seminary, and i really appreciate you finally listening to me and not trying to change my mind about what i wanted you to do. that got a little annoying. anyways, i’m writing this to let you know what i want you to do next. you need to call up the pastor of life/water/rock/wood/point church and introduce yourself. he’ll tell you that they just had an opening in their student ministry program and that they’re accepting applications. after that, you need to send in your application and resume. you won’t hear back for a while, but don’t get worried. in april, on the 11th actually, you’ll get a phone call from them asking you to come down for an interview. you’ll go down there, interview with them, and then they’ll offer you the job. you’ll start in july.
nice talking to you.
that would be awesome. it would take away the anxiety, the doubt, and the unknown all in one swoop.
unfortunately, that’s not happening.
god doesn’t tell us everything at once. if he did that, there would be no need for faith. we wouldn’t have to step out of our comfort zone and trust that god has our best interest in his heart. life would be easy if he did that.
instead, god gives us a little bit at a time. he leads us to the next step. when we get to that one, and when we’re ready for the one after that, then he starts to show us what the next one is. there’s no secret god treasure map that says go here, then here, then here.
even more than that, god doesn’t always explain what the next step is.
sometimes you ask god, “hey, so there’s this opportunity over here. is this what you want me to do?” you really want god to come back and say, “that’s a good thought, but we’re not gonna do that. you need to go over here instead.” unfortunately, most of the time god just comes back with a simple, “nope.”
god is that guy that sends one word text messages.
so what do we do? we do the only thing that we can: we keep asking. we keep looking for opportunities. we keep actively searching for what the next step is. when we find something, we ask god if it’s the right one. we’re going to hear “nope” a lot but eventually we’re going to hear god say “yes” back to us.
i’ve already had two no’s from god. there have been two opportunities that i prayed about and through one way or another, god told me they weren’t the right ones. i’ve spent a lot of time online looking for different churches and trying to find ones to talk to. i’ve talked to friends from different areas to ask them to let me know if they hear of anything. in the next few weeks, i’m going to send a lot of awkward e-mails to try to find that one “yes” that god has for me.
i’m going to hear “no” a lot. i could get discouraged. i could get disappointed. i could lose hope and start second guessing the things that i feel so certain of in my heart.
instead, every time that god tells me no, i’m going to thank him for answering me and thank him for leading me in the right direction.
because i know that in the end, god has something special planned for me, just like he has something special planned for every person reading this. we’ve just gotta be patient enough to wait for him to show us what it is.
and that’s the hard part.
say your prayers and take your vitamins.
have a nice day.