What Do I Do Now?
What do I do now?
For many of us this question might be one we ask after completing a task, like when we graduate, finish a work project, finally move, or maybe when we land our dream job. But how do we answer it? How do we know when or how we take the next step? How do any of us even know what the next step is? I guess the simple answer is, we don’t know. No one, not one of us really knows what the next part of our lives looks like. We don’t even know what tomorrow looks like. And maybe, just maybe, that is a beautiful thing.
If my life looked exactly as I had planned it, I would not be writing this right now. I would be an EMT in Southern California, I would’ve been an Olympic athlete, I would be “further along” than I am right now. But would I have been the right kind of successful? There is really no way of knowing. There is no way to tell if those plans would’ve fit me perfectly. I may have made the best medic, yet I could’ve been hurt, let my faith suffer, or hurt people I love. If I was an Olympic athlete, I could’ve ruined the opportunity for relationships because of a busy schedule. I could’ve missed out on small pleasures due to diet restrictions and making sure I stayed healthy.
But I will never know, and here is the point I’m trying to make: it’s okay to not know for sure. It’s also completely okay to make plans and accomplish them, to have dreams and fulfill them. I plead with you to take a step back—don’t get so caught up in where you want to be that you miss where God wants you to be.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
As I’m writing this, and as I prayed about this topic (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), I couldn’t stop thinking about this phrase I once heard by someone I had great respect for: “Whatever you want in life, go get it, set goals and achieve them and make yourself happy.”
That statement threw me for a loop. What do you mean make yourself happy? Are we called to make ourselves happy? What if we aren’t supposed to make plans for ourselves? What if we are supposed to follow God’s leading?
James 1: 2-4 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” So how are we supposed to consider suffering pure joy if all we want to do next is do what we want, what we feel needs to be done in order to be happy?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that since you’re lost and looking towards the next step in life you should take every opportunity to suffer. That’s not it at all. I’m simply stating that if we get so caught up in the idea that every choice we make and every person we bring into our lives needs to be there for our benefit and for our pleasure, then maybe we should re-evaluate our heart.
Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
There’s this new fad going around, I believe it’s called Marie Kondo-ing? The idea is, Whatever doesn’t bring you joy, simply goes away. You remove it from your life and don’t bat an eye. Now I think this is great because, quite honestly, I could get rid of a few pairs of shoes and handbags. But when we start applying this concept to other aspects of our lives, we lose our connection to what matters most. We start to think that hard times produce nothing valuable and we should walk away from what we perceive as the source of our troubles. But what if your heart is the source? Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So, what if our idea of what we need in life is the source of our difficulties?
As you embark on the next chapter of your life, keep in mind who designed you. When people design anything, there is a purpose to what has been created. So, why would you be any different? The God who created water, sunshine, and trees, all with a purpose, loves you enough to provide you with a purpose as well—a reason to live, a design with intention.
Just because you graduated or finished a project, or stepped into the next phase of life, doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished everything you were designed to do. Maybe your life isn’t grand right now but remember this, you were designed for a purpose. Maybe today that purpose is to trust God wholeheartedly or to love someone deeply. Regardless of where you are, just remember: life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
How can you live out your purpose where you are right now?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashely is nineteen and loves sharing joy and love with others. She is thankful that God has given her the opportunity to serve Him through her life.