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!
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).
What I do know: right now I choose to trust God and do the next thing.
Your slightly-less erratic 20 something,