What do you want to try first?

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Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God created each of us for a purpose – good works.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

That Biblical concept can freeze some of the more literal thinkers among us; in fact, it probably freezes 99% of the Christian population at some point during their life.    “What if I miss the one thing, the one good work, God created me to do?”  Many students, even Bible illiterate students, are frozen in fear during their final years of high school or college unable to shake the idea that there is one special good work for which they were created.  Perhaps this fear explains, in part, the growing rates of depression among students?

To solve the problem of anxiety on college campuses (anxiety caused by pressure for students to find and understand themselves during college), a recent article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, April 2, 2016 points students to “The College of Chinese Wisdom,” which suggests that we are all a mess as defined by the Chinese wisdom of Confucius, Mensius, Zhuangzi and other Chinese thinkers.  Compelling as the article was, it obviously lacked the Christian worldview, the very Christian worldview that has students and adults alike frozen in fear, that we are each specifically created for good works in mind.

Can the Christian worldview possibly add anything positive?

Christian thinkers and writers forget to remind students and adults alike that we all worship the Master Weaver, God Himself, who has a plan.  He is extraordinarily patient, far exceeding the talent of the master mystery writer who slowly unfolds his plot, story and characters on paper.  God, who knows the beginning from the end, does not rush us as He unfolds His plot, story and characters in real life.

And thankfully, during the process, He remembers that we are made of dust – Psalm 103:14 “For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.”

Psalm 139, the longest chapter in the Bible, goes on to tell us that He knit us together in our mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:14-18

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;  And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  When I awake, I am still with You.”

Knowing that God is superintending each individual story should give Christians a freedom that unbelievers can never understand but only envy in wonder.  It should give Christians a fire to know God better to recognize His voice in their lives, to develop the gift of discernment while walking out the opportunities He places before them.

So, the next time you hear that you were created for good works, please remember that God does not put the burden of those good works on your shoulders to find like a cosmic Easter egg hunt.  Look to Him, learn to recognize His voice, decide to obey His voice and do the next thing that faces you on the horizon.  Maybe it is learning a new language, maybe it is pursuing a business degree although you feel a strange call to minister to abused women and children, perhaps it is studying 20th century literature or history although you aren’t even gifted in the verbal fields.

God’s economy has no waste.  There are not any spare parts or spare experiences.  God can redeem them all as He weaves them together over the course of your life on this great planet earth.

Walk out your path.  Perhaps begin with a word study of “walk” in the Bible?

Psalm 119:35   Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.

Psalm 1:1  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my pathIn the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.

Those three are only the beginning.  Jump in and start the journey for yourself to discern what is the next thing you want to try.