Moving on is scary, exciting and exhilarating | Faith
by The Press and Standard | June 30, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 26, 2019 at 3:50 pm
We’ve made it through another graduation season and a whole new group of young adults has been promoted to the next phase of life.
Moving on is exciting, exhilarating, and scary. Some of these graduates know where they’re going, what they want to do, and have it all planned out. Others can’t see quite that far down the road, but they can see the next step and are eager to take it. There are also some who still need a little more time to let the fog clear.
I think it’s that last group that helped initiate the gap year.
The gap year is apparently a trend now. Students take a year off between high school and college, or between college and graduate school, or maybe even between graduate school and starting a career-related job. In fact, it is such a trend now that some schools and travel companies even offer gap year programs. These gap year programs involve things like international travel and focus on cultural experiences. The goal is an education beyond academics, and to help provide rest and focus for the upcoming challenge.
I graduated from college a long time ago, but the last 12 months turned out to be a gap year for me. It wasn’t planned. It just happened.
It started when burglars broke into our house. That day we were robbed of not only precious treasures, but also the vision of what we thought our future looked like in that house. We were safe, but changed.
That unexpected incident then seemed to open up the floodgates for a succession of several other rapid-fire trauma-filled, grief-filled and tragedy-filled life-changing events over the next several months. The framework of the life we had built became murky and muddy in the months of deluge. We lost friends, we lost things, we lost money. There were gaps in almost every area of our life.
Because of all the gaps, I had to work to refocus on what was important. I stopped doing most of the things that filled up my days and gave me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I stopped going. I stopped volunteering. I stopped writing. I just stopped. I, too, needed time for the fog to clear.
I quit, but God never did.
I kept getting reminders. Things like devotional emails, social media posts, podcasts, almost anything I was listening to or reading eventually brought me around to the same verse of scripture:
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:10-11 NIV
I certainly felt like my calling was in question and needed a new and fresh confirmation. I was, however, a little unsure about how to “make every effort” to confirm that new calling, especially since I’d quit all those purpose-affirming activities. I wanted to get busy, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get back in the game.
The longer I remained still and quiet, the clearer it became … it is not up to me to confirm my own calling. That’s God’s responsibility.
In verse 3 of that same chapter of 1 Peter it says that “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Nothing I have or do will confirm my calling like His divine power, glory, and goodness can and will. My contribution is to simply get to know Him. Getting to know Him is discovering that “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
Sometimes it takes the dust cloud of a difficult circumstance (or several) to see God’s character more clearly. It’s what made me be able to say that my heart aches, but I still have joy. I am poor, but still have spiritual riches to share. I own nothing, but yet have everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10).
He’s standing in the gaps, filling them with His divine power, glory, and goodness, holding everything together. That’s my confirmation.
(Nancy Davis attends Doctors Creek Baptist Church of Walterboro, where her husband Scott is minister of music. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)