life transition: The Decision.

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as you may or may not be aware, I am entering a transitionary stage in my life. my contract is up at Hillcrest Covenant Church at the end of the month bringing the end of an era in my life. i was first hired at HCC in May 2005 as a summer intern following my freshman year at K-State. since graduating high school I have either been a college student, or an employee of student ministries.

my wife and I have decided to enter into this transition in what we believe to be the best way possible: by traveling to Europe for 3 weeks. both of us will be unemployed for the first time since college, and we figure it is much healthier to view it as an opportunity rather than freaking out and frantically worrying about the future. we may never have a chance like this again. let’s take advantage. the trip has allowed me to be extremely calm about the transition. rather than filling out applications and scrambling to discover my next job, I have been researching airfare, plotting daytrips, and learning the histories of the cities we will be experiencing.

maybe this freedom has been too nice at times. saying that it has “allowed” me to detach from the situation makes it sound like I’m not taking it seriously. to quote darth vader, making it “all too easy”. that is probably somewhat true. I am hoping that the three weeks abroad will give me a little time to process and understand what it is that God is calling me too and where I will land next.

which is where I end up pondering this idea of “calling” over and over again. it amazes me when people say that they are distinctly “called” to a ministry or occupation. I feel like what I will end up doing is weighing my options, picking the one that excites me most and makes the most sense at the same time. which is what, i believe, we all do anyway. no one makes decisions based on nothing. they choose based on pros and cons and they step out in faith that their decision is the right one.

the place where I get tripped up is where I start believing that there is a “right choice” and everything else is the “wrong choice”. that is the way I think. when I pull up at sonic and I have to make a drink choice, I stare at the board and weigh the 32,086 different options trying to determine which is the “right” one for my current state of thirst. do I need a refreshing Ocean Water, or a classic Cherry Limeade, or a spritzed up Dr. Pepper with Vanilla and Lime? this process takes a while and ticks off those waiting for my Decision (capital D, a la LeBron James).

the trip up is a theological one: if i make the “wrong choice” does that effectively limit how God can use my life? obviously not – the omnipotent Creator can and will use me no matter what. so why is there so much pressure to make the “right choice” that God is “calling” me toward? what if I don’t feel “called” to anything right now? is it inevitable that I choose wrong? or does it not matter to God as long as I do it to the best of my God-given abilities? “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do all in the name of Chirst Jesus.” so who decides what the “whatever” is that i am to do?

so in the end I choose to weigh options, make internal pro/con lists and determine the joy I would experience working in different areas. what are my values and how do those factor into the Future Formula? yes, I pray, but it is usually limited to, “God, use me in whatever it is I’m going to do in life.”

so as I go on “holiday”, as they say, that is the current state of my mind. not worrying (yet), but definitely feeling some angst about the decision making process. I’m just thankful the national media isn’t following my every thought and scrutinizing my Decision as if it wasnt the right one. poor LeBron.

-apc.

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