I just turned 25. I feel a little bit old, like a fresh notebook that has been stuck in a bookshelf for years and little do you know it, its sheets have already turned yellow. What's sadder is that the pages of this book are not only yellow, but they are frighteningly blank. I guess what I am experiencing is a symptom of the quarterlife crisis.
Just a few nights ago, while I was tossing and turning and trying to fall asleep, I was asking God one of my most favorite questions, "What shall I do, Lord?" Somehow I didn't feel that God wanted me back in the corporate world. Was it just a feeling? Maybe. Or an excuse so I could slack off? I don't think so. God closed several doors right in my face and even showed me why. I told God that I really want to support my parents in the future, but I don't know how.
The very next day, I prayed to God about my standstill situation. I asked Him to make it clear to me that it is Him who is calling me to move. I didn't want to do things my way anymore. I've tried doing that, and at the end of the day, I would usually feel empty and meaningless. As I continued talking to Him, I looked outside my window and saw a couple of chubby maya birds frolicking on the wires and railings outside our house. They were bouncing from one wire to the other, very much alive and kicking, i mean, alive and flying. They were so energetic that they didn't seem to feel any pangs of hunger whatsoever. Then I remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 6, "Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?"
God gave me one simple answer that day. "Seek Me." He reminded me that He knows my needs, like He knows the needs of those birds. Those birds were not lacking anything, what more I, His princess? His word was so clear when He stated He would provide for my needs.
As a child of God, I realized, my primary and most important task in life is to seek Him first. God wants me to seek Him first before I seek any work or business of my own or search for means to support my family or my own way of helping the poor.
Seeking Him first entails trust. It entails that we believe God will be the one providing us everything, even the burden and the passion to do His will. (Doing His will includes the good works which God prepared in advance for us to do
. That's why I don't think there is an opportunity to slack off.) On the other hand, if we do not seek Him first, it's like we tell God, "Wait God, I'll work first and I'll come back for you once I've saved enough for myself." This line implies that "Lord, you may not provide for me if I choose to seek you now so allow me to work first." There is no trust there I guess.
I got to talk with a friend named, Fifi today, and she reminded me that my standstill is a preparation for the future ahead. She told me her side of the story, on how she knew where God wanted her to be at the present. For more than a decade, she worked in the corporate world. She jumped from one job to another, very much discontented. And for at least two times, she was bypassed for promotion. The first time, it really hurt. When the second time and the third times came, she seeked God and asked, "Okay Lord, this is the 2nd time and the 3rd time I got bypassed, what are you trying to say?" She realized that the image, status or position she had for herself may not be the one God has in plan for her. Even if she were to remain as a staff, God made it clear to her that she would still be provided for, like how the birds of the air were provided for.
It took her ten humbling years to learn and accept the good works that God has prepared her to do. Those ten years of preparation taught her things about herself, like how God has designed her, how and where she would fit. One of the learnings were, she doesn't have the make-up to manage people. Now she is working as a pastoral care staff in a known church. Would you believe that she is very much joyful, contented and stress-free? I hope that like Fifi, I too can look back one day and say, "God's amazing. He has led me through these years of wandering, to place me here."
Let me end this blog entry with a prayer,
"Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for your wonderful promise in Matthew 6. You said that when we seek You first, you will provide us all that we need. How beautiful is your word Lord! However Lord, there are times that we do not fully appreciate them. We would like to ask for your forgiveness for the times we lacked faith in Your word and we followed our own will.
May you fill us with your joyful and peaceful presence day by day as we seek you. May you become the Master of our lives. The pen is for you to hold, please be the one to write on the blank sheets of our book. Thank You.
In Jesus name we pray,