Finding our place in the world
By Dr. William Holland
Personal change is not easy. Anyone who advertises how wonderful it is to sacrifice, suffer and be uncomfortable, probably has a degree in marketing. There’s nothing wrong with reading books and watching videos about how other people have accomplished their goals, but even if we become experts on how to be successful, this does not automatically mean we will. Besides, beyond the motivational seminars and highly proclaimed formulas that are available, you are a unique individual and God has a special path for you to take. There is no substitute for prayer and perseverance if we are to become all that God has called us to be. Anyone that has experienced even a modest amount of achievement had to eventually arise from their couch and get moving. Every idea needs faith and a plan but without allowing the Lord to build us His way, we will most likely never fulfill His perfect will for our life.
When it comes to finding our place in this world, let us consider two categories. The first one I call, “floating down the river.” Picture a scenario of someone napping in a small boat without a compass or a paddle. Having a spectator mentality, they have no map or intentional direction but rather are just hoping for the best. It’s also common for these individuals to throw pity parties from time to time, because their happy go lucky lifestyle runs into problems and disappointments. Often haunted with thoughts of being left behind, they are caught in a vicious cycle of confusion and discouragement. As a Christian counselor, I’ve tried to help those who are stuck in this drifting mindset and certainly have compassion on them. No doubt it’s extremely difficult to climb out of a deep hole whether they blame themselves or in denial believing everyone else is causing them to fail. It’s always scary to move out of our comfort zone and face reality because sometimes life can seem like a huge mountain that’s impossible to climb. We cannot force anyone to do anything and neither can we help those who not willing to help themselves. In every area of life, those who desire a healthy state of being must see the truth about their own situation and be willing to act on it. Since His character and nature is divine order, we can agree there are no heavenly blueprints for floating aimlessly down the river. The good news is that God is patiently waiting to help us whenever our desire to change becomes stronger than our desire to remain the same.
I believe that having Jesus Christ as the Lord of our life is the meaning and purpose for everything we do and this brings me to our second point. As the author and finisher of our faith, His Word reminds us that He’s drawn a general outline and a specific one-of-a-kind blueprint for everyone’s life according to His perfect plans. True, He has not written, “John Doe will be a plumber” but the basic concept is to trust Him and listen to His still small voice as He leads us where He wants us to go. This truth encourages and motivates us, but another aspect of this process is to realize there are certain conditions and responsibilities on our part and in order for His plan to be fully activated, it will require surrendering our will to Him. Our greatest challenge with God as the Potter and us being the clay, is to accept the fact that we do not conveniently add God to the ambitions we have already established but rather to surrender everything to Him so that He can create within us a brand-new direction. Yes, there will be pain from abandoning our dreams and intentions but this is a very critical part of our salvation experience. Having a personal relationship with God is all about allowing Him to mold us into His image. He desires to be more than a Savior, He wants to be our Lord. Proverbs chapter 3 and verses 5 and 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Dr. Holland is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. Ask for his new free CD, “Keeper of my soul” at billyhollandministries.com.