My church is in the middle of a series on the book of Nehemiah. Throughout the series, we are asking folks, “What happens when God grabs hold of a man or woman, and they choose to respond in obedience?” Nehemiah’s story is a great portrait of how someone responds and navigates life when their heart is broken for something that is breaking God’s heart.
To be blunt, I am so excited to see what God will do during this preaching series. I think whenever God’s children open themselves open to what God might want to do through them and in them in the world, amazing things can happen; entire worlds can change; history can get made. It’s my prayer that someone may open the door of their heart just a crack to see a new reality: that God wants them to be a part of changing their world in some way, big or small.
In other words, I pray that God might guide someone to their own wall.
When someone finds “their wall”, things change in their life. As we’ll see in the book of Nehemiah, struggles and challenges are put into perspective when we have chosen to let God guide our steps. We attack life with a new energy, with new focus and purpose.
In short, we know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
I interact with so many amazing people, week-to-week, who are hungry to find “their wall.” Some of us wait years (or longer) to find it; some of us find it when we are quite young. Some of us know intuitively what the wall in our life will look like; others of us have to go through a longer period of discernment and/or questioning.
A helpful process to go through when searching for that “thing” in your life is the search for “vocation.” “Vocation”, or calling, can lead us clearly to the walls in our life, to the thing that will motivate, guide, and put our time and resources into proper alignment.
Parker Palmer writes extensively about vocation; in Letting Your Life Speak, he says that vocation—your “wall”—occurs at the place where your deepest joy meets the world’s great need. This is a clue for the place where you can find your wall.
So what about you? Can you take 30 minutes this week and journal through those two questions?
- What is my deepest joy? What are those things in my life that I would do, regardless of a paycheck?
- What is a great need of the world? What are broken things that I see that just seem so glaringly obvious?
- What does the intersection of those two things look like? Does it look like a new work of art? An entrepreneurial venture? A relocation? Getting involved in a new ministry? Changing jobs?
Journal through those questions (it may take minutes, hours, days, or even months to get clarity on, but the journey is nevertheless helpful). As you find clarity, share with friends and ask their perspective on your findings.