Tinkering Through Life?

At the suggestion of my friend Erin, I decided to pick up Just Do Something this morning before work.


I read this book about 2 years ago, and I have to say, after being in an environment where people who didn’t even know me that well were telling me “God has CALLED you to ____” (leading me to scoff at the term “calling”) DeYoung’s book was FREEING.

You mean I can make my own decisions about my life? YES! And I can do it without dreams, visions, fleeces, etc. (see below). YEAH! Sign me up!

Just Do Something Kevin DeYoung

So why is it then, with every major life decision I always worry that I’m going to screw up a divine order and miss my destiny? How come this word “calling” that I don’t even like nor agree with (at least in the way the Christian culture has twisted it) has such a HOLD on me?

Probably because I’m an INFJ.

(We’re only 1% of the population. Gosh, no wonder nobody understands me.)

I didn’t have a lot of time for reading before I left for work, but that didn’t matter, because page 2 of chapter 1 caused that gross feeling to rise up in my chest. That “maybe mom and dad, and – GASP – older brother, are a little bit right” kinda feeling.

Read it and weep (with me).

Chapter One: The Long Road to Nowhere

Our grandparents built. Our parents boomed. And my generation? We tinker. Of course…tinkering is not all bad. Those who tinker know how to improvise, specialize, pull things apart, and pull people together from a thousand different places.

But tinkering also means indecision, contradiction, and instability. We are seeing a generation of young people grow up (sort of) who tinker with doctrines, tinker with churches, tinker with girlfriends and boyfriends, tinker with college majors, tinker living in and out of their parents’ basement and tinker with spiritual practices no matter how irreconcilable or divergent.

We’re not consistent. We’re not stable. We don’t stick with anything. We aren’t sure we are making the right decisions. Most of the time, we can’t even make decisions. We don’t follow through. All of this means that as Christian young people we are less fruitful and less faithful than we ought to be.

– Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something, page 12

Ouch! I even wrote “ouch!” in the margin of my book the first time I read it. I’ll say it again. Ouch!

My name is Natalie. And I think I might just be showing signs of a tinkerer.

I’ve always told myself that I’m “special” or “unique”. Or my personal favourite, “I’m just not like other people!”

I will be honest: right now I feel unable to make any decisions about my future. Some days I want to hop on the next plane to Bangkok, and other days I’m applying for jobs in Toronto. It’s reached the point at which whenever I tell my parents what I want to do next, they just look at me and say, “That’s nice.” Let’s face it – they don’t really believe it’s going to happen.

I’m pretty confident that means I’m a tinkerer.

The only thing I can do is what Oswald Chambers wrote a century ago: “Trust God and do the next thing.”

And right now the next thing would be getting a full time job, making friends, and getting involved in my community. And maybe then I will become more fruitful and more faithful. And I’ll stop wanting to leave in order to satisfy my desire for adventure…and maybe I’ll discover that the adventure was right here all along…

… …

… … …

… … … …

OR maybe God DOES have something crazy-wild in store for me on the other side of the world! (I had to add that).

Who knows.

What I do know: right now I choose to trust God and do the next thing.


Your slightly-less erratic 20 something,



8 thoughts on “Tinkering Through Life?

  1. Aw babe, we don’t actually have to know what we want to do in our 20s. Or our 30s. Nevermind what the older set says. There is so much more uncertainty now, we just have to adjust to it somehow.

    • I agree, times have changed completely, and we have more options. I guess at the ripe age of 27, I’m finally starting to tire of saying goodbye and I’m exhausted at the thought of starting over. Saying goodbye to Bangkok was WAY too hard….it’s still pretty tough.

  2. Thank you for this Natalie! I needed to hear it and learn it as well! You are a blessing and honest source of wisdom! Love it and love you!

  3. Wow! hahah I love this and so much of it rings true in my life as well. I often even find it hard to decide where to go out for dinner! It’s like we as young adults are afraid of making the wrong choice so we don’t make one at all, or we do for a day then it’s off to something else. It may be too because of the incredible amount of opportunity we have. Like it’s so overwhelming so we just freeze and don’t do anything. Hmm, I’d like to read that book sometime. Thank you for the post Nat! I love your writing. Much Love, Kaitlyn

      • Just watched this Natalie; thought I might just watch a few minutes but ended up watching it all. Oh so true and my example would be that we just returned from two garden stores empty handed because we were so overwhelmed with the choice and we went there thinking we knew what we wanted:(

        Great blog by the way!

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