I hear this same question, numerous times a day; "so, what are you going to do next?" or "How's the job search going?" or "How did that interview go?" or even "I know a guy at McDonald's!"
I hear it from friends, family, co-workers, and even complete strangers who are looking for obscure electronics parts for 25% off. Little do they/you realize that I've been intentionally uncertain.
I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know exactly what I want to do. I used to.
I used to know that I wanted to serve God in ministry. I used to know what that might look like for my family to pursue that calling. It hasn't happened yet. It may never. Not the traditional way.
Because I haven't found a 'real' job we've been financially tight. Since we were married we've struggled with our finances. This has lead to a series of jobs for me in situations I would not choose. That in turn lead me into relationships I would never have had. People who would never step foot in a church, but who live deeply with each other. People I had the privilege of mentoring, though they would never formally seek help.
I don't see the world as black and white anymore, but I haven't been able to voice it. Until Yesterday, this post was impossible because I didn't know how to talk about it.
Yesterday I asked an old friend what he's been studying (he went back to college). I don't remember the degree, but I do remember the rest. He said that he didn't have the same dreams anymore, but that he has some themes running through his head. He wanted to love inner-city kids and families, but he didn't know how. He wants to see an end the cycle of poverty, but that's an impossible task when viewed as a global proposition. He wants to love Grand Rapids.
Since his response I've been formulating my own. I'm in the same boat, I have some themes, but not the whole symphony.
1. I/We love and communicate through music.
2. I/We love hospitality, doing things for others. (my wife is legendary in my workplace for her un-announced no-bake cookies. People come up to me for weeks afterwords and ask when she's gonna bring in more cookies.
3. I/We love helping people. It's almost the only redeeming thing about retail, helping people.
4. I/We love Jesus and need to share it.
That doesn't break down into a comprehensive vision. We could start an after school music program for kids and their parents. We could be intentional about where we live so that we could love on our neighbors. We could start a band, and be intentional about the songs we sing and the conversations we have between sets.
I could follow the traditional route and become a worship 'Pastor,' but I don't think I'm supposed to plan on that.
Doesn't mean it's out the window, it's just not the plan. The plan has evolved from a job description to a statement; Here I am Lord, use me.
The other theme that's been playing in my head is from Genesis 'Live over Europe' but that's another post.