Thoughts on Vocation

Growing up a non-denominational, evangelical, Restoration Movement Protestant, one thing that I had asked me again and again is: What does God want you to do with your life? This was frequently, though not always, used as a device for encouraging young men such as myself to give serious thought to working in missions or local church ministry. Of course, once one decided “Why yes, I do believe I should become a pastor” there followed the next obligatory item: which Bible college one would attend to train for such a vocation.

For myself, particularly in high school, that question of vocation dogged me relentlessly. And that is probably why, having read Elisabeth Elliot’s Through Gates of Splendor in the spring of my senior year, and having no clue what sort of work I might be otherwise interested in, but most importantly, looking for a way to dedicate myself wholly to Christ, I decided I would become a missionary, and decided to go to Ozark Christian College.

The problem is, once one has taken on such a paradigm, it will not let you rest. Once you accept the premise, life becomes a painstaking “laying out the fleece” and reading the providential “signs” so as not to miss “what God wants you to do with you life.”

So, even while in Bible college, I continuously doubted myself: Is this really what God wants me to do with my life?

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