Adverts placed on buses promoting a church run event in Blackpool...
In this ever-changing world, many of the things we thought certain just 6 months ago may now seem fanciful or laughable, whether the world order or your own everyday life. Such pace of change could leave you feeling confused, frustrated or even numb; wondering where you fit or what role you have to play on this planet.
I’m convinced (after nearly 40 years being involved with this) that everyone DOES have a part to play in life on Earth!
The Bible is clear - God values EVERYONE. So much so that He would send His own Son as our rescuer and restorer.
Your worth is infinite, and is not based on your role. You are of infinite value because Father places that value on you, not because of what you do. He loves cleaners as much as accountants; farmers as much as financial analysts; and bus drivers as much as nurses.
However, He does have a plan for you: a plan created in advance (For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10)
And he has equipped you in specific ways earn a living (But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, Deuteronomy 8:18).
So, it’s a safe assumption there’s something He’d like you to be doing, which you will also enjoy (he does love you infinitely, after all!). Here are my tips to move this ahead:
1. Don’t get too specific.
King David was a leader; a soldier and a poet and musician. You will most likely find there are a number of aspects to ‘you’. You can fulfil them in different ways at different times. Sometimes, we can't do it all. It could be you have specific responsibilities (parent or carer); it could be that as years advance and your body adjusts certain activities, say sport, take more of a back seat. David always remained someone people could look to, who gave guidance and who had the heart of God.
2. It’s never too late.
Moses really didn't start the most significant part of his time on earth until in his forties. What he did prior to that did help and inform things. But it did not point towards the amazing things God had planned for him. Older dogs can learn all kinds of fresh tricks, especially ones they were designed for.
3. How do you discover what your niche is?
Think about what you're good at - remember He has gifted all of us. Which things might you be doing where you lose track of time? What could you do all day that makes you feel energised rather than tired? Get a pad (paper or electronic) and start writing things down. When you see them there in front of you it can trigger all sorts of feelings. Ask others what they think - what do they appreciate about you? Where do they think your strengths lie?
Take that information and begin to explore where those attributes might be useful. Visit the the National Careers Website for instance for tools to help you. Or maybe try online psychometric tools as a ways of inspiration. I like this assessment (free) at Time magazine for its speed and simplicity or for something deeper, I really like Truity for its clear material (some of it still free).
4. But remember…
Your niche doesn’t have to be paid employment. Many people do jobs that which give them time and energy to pursue other things closer to their heart. Being a full-time carer may just be part of your niche; don't forget you may be like David and have many strings to your harp.
Get some people round you with whom you can share this. Trying to be objective about yourself is really difficult (especially when you’re trying to think positive things about yourself). Choose people who will be honest as much as nice to you.
Sounds obvious but… pray. Pray on your own, with others; get others to pray. And while you pray, listen. Make notes after. Look back and reflect on things you heard or felt or came into your mind afterwards. Keep notes and see what emerges.
See this as a journey. It may take some time for something to be revealed clearly. Don’t forget this could be the first of many things that make up who you are.
Being completely frank (forgive me), I have learned that this journey, in some cases, ends up with nothing changing except your perspective. Perhaps you are already in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right things, but you have not yet learned its value; to others, to God, or maybe especially to you.
And like Moses, God may yet have good things further off for you which we cannot imagine (perhaps less arduous!). He may be looking to pour out blessings upon you so you can be a blessing to others.
Keep looking. Keep listening. Keep being blessed to be a blessing. And you will keep discovering more and more the plans He has for you.
Frank Hutton is professional career coach who truly believes Monday can be the best day of the week. Visit Hutton&co to find out more.