Summary: Modern trend is that people are postponing major decisions in life. People have little direction. True calling is to serve God with spiritual gifts.
What Am I Suppose To Do With My Life?
People today don’t know what they want to do with their lives. Despite all of our wealth, education, and opportunity people are constantly searching for happiness and fulfillment. Their journey never seems to end because they are reluctant to grow up and establish roots. For example, people are getting married older; work commitments are being postponed beyond anything that anyone could have imagined. It is also no accident that we see children hanging around the home longer; childhood is extending. All over the world now kids don’t have to make commitments that they had to make in the past.
According to leading Stanford researchers, these trends are creating a type of moratorium whereby people try to “find” themselves and experiment with different things. Think of this, just a few decades, young teenagers were driving tractors and were given adult responsibilities around the home. A family’s survival was dependent on income producing offspring that contributed to the common good. In contrast to past decades, today’s youth and culture is focused on itself. No longer are children expected to bring home the bacon. Instead they are asking their parents for cell phones, I-pods, and automobiles. Just try today to get a teenager to mow the lawn, clean their room or take out the trash without starting World War III. I’m not saying that people today are immature; it’s just that they are growing up slower.
I believe that the same is true with our society in a spiritual sense. People are drifting spiritually. They are trying out all sorts of religions and lifestyles. Unfortunately, since few people today have a religious upbringing, their lack of spirituality enables them to become easily uprooted from God’s protection and planted into a culture sown in sin. Years ago, the church and the family complemented each other and were grounded in common purpose where each made significant contributions to the larger body. Today, people want to do their “own thing.” These trends are impacting society and the Church in negative ways. Let me explain.
Previously, people sought noble vocations and were judged by their character. Things like honesty, resourcefulness, thriftiness, kindness, integrity meant something. People like our grandparents were proud to take on meager vocations as waiters, construction workers, janitors, and earn an honest living. Today, most young people simply want to make money and flash the “bling.” Their career choices chase wealth, prestige, and personal pleasure. Society’s needs are somehow an afterthought and personal character means little. Taken as a whole, the end no longer justifies the means.
The same is true in the Church. Rather than people asking our loving Lord where they should serve in the Church, people are pursuing on their own desires. I see our Churches relying less on God’s wisdom for guidance and more on people’s ambitions. Consequently, people only do what they want, rather than serving as they called. This is an important distinction and is in contrast to God’s master plan for His Church. Let me explain. First, our Lord designed the Church in a special way so that everyone’s contribution was necessary for it to thrive. Rather than blessing each community with a few people who could do it all, our Lord bestows each individual with specific gifts. Collectively, these gifts are necessary for the Church to survive and prosper. In God’s thinking, spiritual gift diversity is a prerequisite for the congregation’s unity and spiritual prosperity.
Today’s epistle reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans addresses the spiritual gifts given to each believer. The key is for each Christian is to discover their particular gift and to develop them through the grace of the Holy Spirit. So, listen carefully and try to discover: What is your spiritual gift? How is God calling you to serve? How are you going to use that gift for the benefit of the spiritual community?
The first spiritual gift mentioned is prophecy. Prophecy is the uttering of God’s will under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. It is a gift of speech where the Holy Spirit convicts the community of God’s presence and power. Prophets communicate God’s will for His people in accordance with Holy Scripture. When we think about a prophet, we tend to thing about the Old Testament prophets that predicted the future. There are also modern day prophets among us as our Lord continues to guide and send messages to His people. The prophet’s challenge is to discern whether it’s God’s voice speaking to him or whether he or she is being deceived. If you’ve received several hunches, or messages from God of things that were going to happen in the future, perhaps you may have this gift. Now, remember prophetic messages are spiritual in nature and aren’t guesses about who will win the Kentucky Derby or the Super Bowl. Prophets have something important to say for God’s people.