Questions about direction
This last year has been incredibly unsettling for many but it has also been a great opportunity to stand back and reflect on our lives. Questions like: what am I doing? Where am I going? Why am I here doing this? These are all very common but don’t worry – God still has a plan for your life, and he knows what he is doing – but you may need some help to get some direction at this time.
How do we find direction?
Maybe as an outcome of this time you have been thinking that it’s time to uproot, to move on – to throw everything up in the air and start again. Move church, move job, move town, or even start a new life in a completely different country? A total change of direction.
But what is God saying and how do I know these thoughts come from him? Here are some of the things I have learned over the years about helping others to find direction:
1. What did God say?
Before you give serious consideration to a completely new direction start with looking back. Why are you there and what are you standing on? This is about returning to the place that you started, returning to the pathway where you were once so clear. Go back there and then ask another question – is God still saying this or is he saying something else?
2. What are those around you saying?
Ask the people that you trust: the leaders of your church, those around you who know you the best, your marriage partner, or a family member – what do they say, listen to them and weigh what they say. Sometimes we do get it wrong but those who are closest to us are the most equipped to say what we need to hear – they know our weaknesses and see our blind spots.
3. Do you have permission to stay?
This is an interesting question as the normal question we ask ourselves is can I go or do I have to stay! Most committed types need it the other way around. Are you still called to be where you are? If the answer is yes then you have no need to go.
4. What gives you the most peace?
Imagine yourself into opposite scenarios, really go to town on this. Get into God’s presence and in the spirit walk around your town, your neighbourhood, your church, your job! Imagine telling people that you are leaving, your friends, your leaders, your family. How does that feel? Now, do the opposite. Imagine putting your house on the market, moving out, moving towns, church or job. Which scenario gives you the most peace?
The results might surprise you. They may even amaze you. I remember an occasion where I gave God two dramatically opposite scenarios and his reply to me was – I don’t mind, you choose! This floored me! This is where I found that getting ‘direction’ right or wrong is for us more like GPS than an exam that you pass or fail. The grace of God is such that even if you do take a wrong turn the route recalculates to give you the opportunity to get back to the right destination – even if it does take a little longer. Go back and recalculate!