Although recent evidence suggests much more, the average day time worker today spends at least forty hours a week, five days a week working although there are many involved in the mining industry and elsewhere that this is greater.
We try and choose to do what matters to us, and what is passionate to us. Yet many struggle with discovering a job that really matters to them.
In my view as a young Christian, perhaps that is the reason why so many people flounder from one job to the next because they fail to first of all ask God, "Is this is what they're meant to be doing?" In my view there is a basic 101 failure to ask God if what they're doing is in line with the Kingdom of God for them, and of this is in His light. If we reconsider what we do in light of the glory of God I truly believe whatever we end up doing can turn into something that truly matters and give our lives purpose.
I am reminded of Jesus words:"But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you" Matthew chapter 6, verse 33.
Recently I had to make a very difficult decision to change my career path. I have been in the field of science since I was fourteen years old, intentionally choosing and getting into a science stream in high school. I went on to complete a three-year Diploma in Biosciences and subsequently completed my Bachelor of Science in Perth.
Then I worked in a research lab for three years, making the total number of years of study plus work to be roughly ten. I even recently obtained an International Scholarship to do my PhD in Neuroscience. Three months into my PhD, I had a daunting and quite scary realisation that science is not (and has never been) my calling at all.
A real struggle
It did not hit me right away, but when I realised it I struggled internally and started to question God's will for my life. It all seemed so drastic and I had so many different opinions from so many people, but in the end I needed time alone to be with God and to hear Him speak to my heart.
Fortunately for me, and through God's perfect timing, I had to be in Brisbane for training for a week. I went alone and so was without all my usual commitments in Perth, without any distractions from friends, family and relatives. I had my one-on-one time with God for a whole week.
I have always struggled with understanding God's will in my life. Does God want me to continue in science or change to a field I will know in my heart is the right and definite path for me. "What will I tell my supervisors, friends and family who were all so supportive of me doing a PhD?" I will also be jobless until my next endeavour; "How will I be able to do this?"
These questions plagued my mind the whole week. But then I remembered the story in Genesis when God say to Abraham: "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you" (Genesis 12 verse 1). I also remembered the story of Noah when God told him to build an ark for his family and animals, he obeyed even though many people mocked him and did not believe him when he said a flood was coming.
In both cases, God had instructed them to leave something they have been comfortable with. For Abraham it was the land he was happily settled in, and for Noah it was to leave the comfort of being normal and to be thought of as crazy by others so as to do what God had instructed him.
These stories made me remember that God's will is superior to all and sovereign. God's will is meant to be done, He will not simply nudge me but will instruct me firmly just as He did with Abraham and Noah. Today, even though God is not physically present to guide me, He leads me through the Holy Spirit, guiding me by placing a burning desire and the conviction of Christ in my heart so I can be led to do His will.
That additional insight
When I seek God's will, I pray with all my heart about it, saying to God that if it is according to His will let doors open and if it is not, close the doors and lead me where He wants me to go. I know that God wants me to do something that will ultimately glorify Him. I also know that God ultimately wants me to do something special with my life, something we are called to do for His purpose.
It says in Romans chapter 8, verse 28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". In all things that worry us, especially the worry I have had about changing my career path, God says in Philippians chapter 4, verse 6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Through seeking God sincerely from my heart I know that He has called me to do something else. Something that I have known all along I was meant to do, and that is helping people. I trust in God and have faith in the calling God has placed in my life.
Even though I only made this decision a few days ago, so many doors have already opened for me. For all the things I need to face now, including terminating my PhD candidature, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians chapter 4, verse 13.
Clarissa Yates is from Singapore but moved to live in Perth, Western Australia in 2008. Clarissa married in 2012 and intends to commence a Masters in Speech Pathology in 2014.
Clarissa Yates previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/clarissa-yates.html