For many, the end of May and the beginning of June means one thing: school is out. The week gone by or the week to come marks the end of the school year and the beginning of three months of bonfires and baseball, swimming and sleepovers.
But for some, this time does not signal a season of leisure without any responsibilities. Some have graduated from high school. Others have received a college degree. And now they face difficult, life-altering decisions.
And the desperate cry is heard, “Help! What should I do?”
This is not just the case with graduates. There are times in the life of every child of God when he is forced to make difficult decisions. We’re not talking here about the small, insignificant choices we make all the time, such as, “What am I going to have for lunch?” We’re talking here about the serious, wring-your-hands, can’t-sleep-at-night decisions.
And from our lips is heard the cry, “Somebody, help! What am I supposed to do?”
In this and a few other posts, I’d like to consider a few guiding principles that help us make decisions and determine what is the will of God for our lives.
To start, I simply want to state the obvious: we must expect that we will have to make major, life-changing decisions.
The high school graduate faces difficult questions regarding college:
- Are you going to go on to college or not?
- If you are, where are you going to attend? A secular university? A Christian college? A community college?
- Are you going to attend a college close by or are you going to enroll at a school that is far from home? Are you going to live with dad and mom or live on-campus?
- What are you going to go to school for? What are you going to major in?
Others face difficult questions regarding their career path:
- You’ve decided not to attend college, but what are you going to do for a job? You’ve finished college, but what specific line of work are you going to pursue?
- What are you going to do with the money you’re earning? Are you going to buy a house? Are you going to get a new vehicle? Are you going to save it?
- Where are you going to live? Are you going to take a job around home, or are you going to move to a different part of the country?
There are decisions that have to be made about relationships:
- Are you looking to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend? And if so, who are you going to date? What kind of person are you looking for?
- If you are dating someone seriously, when do you think you are going to get married?
- If you are dating someone from a different church and want to get married, whose church are you going to join?
- If you are dating someone from a different part of the country and want to get married, are you going to move?
What often adds to the difficulty of these decisions is that we have to make them on our own. Yes, there are others that can give advice and help point us in the right direction. But usually the difficult decisions are ones that no one else can make for us.
This is a new experience for a young person. When you were a child, your parents made most of the tough decisions for you, sometimes without your even being aware of it. But such is not the case when you reach adulthood. Part of maturing and becoming an adult means being placed in situations where you will be forced to make important decisions. You might be tempted to dump these decisions on your parents or tempted not to make a decision at all so that you can postpone growing up, but you cannot live the rest of your life as a child, bringing every tough decision to dad and mom to make for you.
So, expect to be in situation where an important decision must be made.
Next time, I want to mention a few more things that make these decisions so difficult.
This post was written by Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.