The Next Major Decision

The next major decision I make in this life will follow a similar pattern to the others I have already made – through prayer and opportunity, in conjunction with previous desires, God-given gifts & abilities, and my personality.  I may not ever fulfill my earthly “dreams,” but I am not the center of the universe, nor am I here to gratify my selfish desires; as I follow Christ, He will direct my path.  What God places on my heart I will act on and if He closes the door, then so be it.  There is no reward for me to create or attempt to manipulate God’s plans.  I am here only as a vessel to glorify Him.  And if, at the end of this life, I have made many decisions, yet none of them were spectacular and I gained no worldly fame, but I sought to glorify the Lord in the “mundane things” of this life, then I will have made the wisest decision of them all.   Hypothetically speaking, the next place I will be after Master’s is working and in grad school (I mean ideally I will go on to receive my doctorate too, but I am more set on the master’s degree first).  Since I was little, my love of learning has only grown deeper.  I thrive in the classroom setting and have always looked up to my mom who attained her master’s degree.  I do not know exactly what I will study or where I am to go, though I have a few ideas.  I would really love to attend an ivy league as my next large step and further my education in communications.  There is so much to be gained from more education and opportunities to speak truth into the lives of the secularly “educated” who often look down on Christians, perceiving them as too simple-minded to understand “smarter” concepts.  As a Christian I am called to prepare my “mind for action” biblically, by reading Scripture (1 Peter 1:13).  However, I would argue a Christian’s knowledge should also extend to understanding how to answer the world’s questions in a Godly manner, yet from their warped perspective.  Part of being in the world and not of it (John 17:16) means having the ability to respond with a transformed secular knowledge; one which simultaneously acknowledges a competence in human thoughts and in the Bible’s veracity.  Hence, continuing my education would add a layer to my testimony, allowing me to speak into the lives of those who may not choose to hear the Gospel from someone they deemed as having “less knowledge.”     The next major decision I can foresee is marriage.  I do not expect to be married, but ideally would like to be after college or grad school.  Yet, to guard my heart and mind, I choose to see my future as complete without a partner, since the Lord does not guarantee marriage (1 Corinthians 7:8) and He has already granted me with everything I need “for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).  Besides, while I can test hypothetical situations all day, I cannot justify this decision if it is not even here to be made.  Currently, I am not seeing anyone, so instead of lusting after the flesh I desire most to practice being “upright” (Proverbs 11:6) and “sober-minded” (1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8), not clinging to an ideal which may or may not come to pass.  For, in every action the important emphasis to dwell on is understanding, “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).  If I was to be blessed with the decision of matrimony, – granted the circumstances lined up and I met someone I could see a future with – I believe the yes or no answer to the question would be gained through devoted time to prayer and reading the Scriptures.  The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and not to rush because, “for everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1a).  Therefore, in the case of the decision of marriage, the answer will come down to recognizing a heart desire, including a fervent prayer life, and waiting upon God for whether or not my “season” has come or is even to arrive. I must additionally take into account my spiritual gifts and the personality God has predisposed on me.  God desires His creatures to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) for His work.  In carrying out His plans, the Lord has granted each person with a way in which they can individually serve Him.  We “do not all have the same function” (Romans 12:4) and God does not treat us as such.  Part of making a decision, means not only understanding the gifts God has given me, but also acknowledging part of being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 134:14) means understanding each person’s pattern of life will follow a different story line.  Most likely, God will not put me in a musical career.  Whereas, I have leadership skills and could easily see participating as a tech booth operator, the likeliness of anyone wanting to hear me sing on a regular basis is slim to none.  And believe me, I am fine with being in the audience – we cannot all be worship leaders.  My decisions are thus going to reflect my natural talents and tendencies. I think what is most important to dwell on in order to keep my sanity and not become overly stuck in my own head is: I do not need to have each possible circumstance already figured out, because being all-knowing would defeat the point of relying on God.  I happen to be a person who becomes easily overwhelmed and anxious when I must make a decisive choice and am an anal planner.  However, I do not see the value in over planning my years when I cannot add a single hour to my life (Matthew 6:27).  If my hours are planned, how much more is God already taking care of me the way in which He sees fit.  Additionally, Philippians 4:4 states I am not to “be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” make my “requests… known to God.”  God knows the desires of my heart (Psalm 34:7) and works everything out for His good and His purposes (Romans 8:28).  I know large choices are coming because such is the pattern of this world.  And, I do not know exactly what they are to be or what I am to choose.  I do know, I will cross each bridge when I am brought to the start.  Until then, I have the assurance in God, knowing “he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6) through His grace, in His timing, and by His methods.