I remember when I was choosing universities, and looking for courses I could take.
It wasn’t going to be medicine for me though: I didn’t take biology, and I retched after we dissected a lamb’s eyeball in Secondary 2. Not engineering or accountancy either: Never was a fan of numbers, and I didn’t get a perfect score on the mathematics SAT. And certainly not law: I was so timid, I’d get chewed out in the courtroom.
So that pretty much left me with the practical choice of economics. I figured after graduation I’d join the civil service. If not, I’d join the banks or teach.
Fast forward four years, and I was graduating. Deciding where to work was a huge decision because of parental expectations and the fact that I was in a pioneer batch of economics graduates from my university. I agonised over the decision, praying for God to open doors.
At the end of the day, the choice boiled down to an internship at an international financial data firm, or a permanent job at a local financial start-up. Brand-name versus unknown. Temporary versus permanent. Cut-throat environment versus family-like environment.
I made up a checklist, went over it twice or thrice, wondering which job to take. Which was the one that God wanted me to choose? Why couldn’t He be clearer about it? Questions like these have followed me all these years. Which job, school or postgraduate programme should I choose? Which guy should I marry? Which option would please God the most, or glorify Him the most?
Well it turns out that I was asking the wrong questions.
We just need to trust in the one right God.
At some point of time I had picked up this notion that only “Plan A” would please God.
Plan A was the perfect plan. Plan B, C and D meant missing out on the wonderful blessings that were in store for me in Plan A. It meant getting second-best. I thought of them as facing the consequences of being disobedient, or of not being spiritually mature enough to discern what Plan A was.
A good Christian would be able to do that, and I wanted to be a good Christian.
It was a very binary and unhealthy view of God’s character and will. And while I prayed for God to shut the doors that He didn’t want me going through, my prayers were always tinged with a sense of anxiety that I would make the wrong choice.
Then one day I read a book about discerning God’s will, which stated outright that there is no Plan A – There is only God’s plan, and the choice we make is God’s plan.
Those words were freeing, but I couldn’t figure out why. Until I read this prayer by Pastor Scotty Smith.
“Grant us peace, as we make important decisions. Some of us are facing career changes, church choices, economic challenges, and health issues. Free us from the foolish notion that there is only one right choice to make. Actually, there is only one right God to trust, and that is you. Lead us, as we lean on you, Father.”
We don’t have to subscribe to the notion of “the one” or “the choice” for one simple reason: We just need to trust in the one right God, and not the gods of money, possessions – or the assurance of success in this world.
There is simple rest to be found in simply following our God. He will never let you down.
7 TRUTHS OF WHO GOD IS
- He is our deliverer and shield (Psalm 18:2)
- He is creation’s master (Matthew 8:27)
- He is love (1 John 4:9-10)
- He is our father (1 John 3:1a)
- He is our provider (Matthew 6:26)
- He is just (Psalm 50:6)
- He is faithful (Lamentations 3:22-23)
This is our God – we can trust in Him! In truth, against our own foolishness and the wisdom of the world so prone to change, I thank God we have a firm foundation to live life upon.