Posts Tagged ‘guidance’

Poster for Right Move careers conference in Belfast recently

I have just returned to the office after a meeting, where those of us who planned and organised Right Move – a careers conference with a Christian perspective for Sixth Formers and university students in N. Ireland, were debriefing how it all went two weeks ago.

We reckoned we had done a good job! We had put together a good programme, with good plenary speakers, good seminars, a good number of mission agencies exhibiting  opportunities at home and overseas, a good venue with a good atmosphere, and good feedback from those who attended, those who gave input and those who exhibited.

The only problem was that we were disappointed at the numbers that turned up!

And so we have been re-assessing how we did the publicity and promotion, the suitability of the venue, the time of day, our target audience and how to get them there next time.

Many of the contributors told their stories of how God led them to where they are today as they encouraged young people about how they might find out how God is guiding them in career and life choices.

The emphasis in my Wycliffe work at the moment is also telling stories: stories of how God is working through Bible translation with people in his world. Wycliffe’s headline  message is:


Which means working towards starting a Bible translation project for every language that needs one as soon as possible. Which means getting the story out so people can respond. Which means praying that God will guide people into a career short term or longer with Wycliffe Bible Translators. And we did have some good conversations at Right Move!

And it was soon after Right Move that I found this blog – A story you haven’t chosen here are some extracts…

“To be a Christian is to learn to live in a story you haven’t chosen.”  Stanley Hauerwas

Our plans, for our lives, for our weeks, even for our days, get scuppered by circumstances and other people.  The things we intend to do, the kind of person we intend to be, the paths we intend to take we find are constantly obstructed and we seem to be on a never-ending diversion.

That doesn’t change when you become a Christian; what changes is your understanding of who’s driving your life.

To be a Christian is to become aware of the bigger picture. You are already living in a story you haven’t chosen; you have no choice in the matter.  What you do get to choose is how you will live in it – will you embrace it, seek God’s guidance at each moment when you do have a choice, and praise Him anyway at the moments when you don’t?

Or will you have to be dragged through your life, kicking and screaming, like a child in a supermarket?

I liked this take on Christian guidance – or is it about making choices – or is that the same thing really..?

PS This blog dedicated to Jonny – he knows who he is 🙂

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“Probably not!” says Don Miller fairly emphatically.

Clear guidance!

Did you have / are you having those debates (much loved of youth leaders in my younger days) talking about guidance and the trap of bad guidance talks when young people struggle to find “The One” who is God’s choice for their life partner?

Often when I’m talking with people young and older as they explore their interest in joining Wycliffe Bible Translators, I sense that there are a number of options that God would be perfectly happy about!

  • Do their skills best suit Wycliffe Bible Translators or another agency? Well, probably both… and even some other agencies too!
  • Should they teach Wycliffe missionary kids overseas or stay in their school in N. Ireland? I guess God would be happy with either of those – it’s your choice.

Does God have just one path for our lives?

Can we make wrong choices and God gives up on us?

Are there a number of choices we could make that God would be happy about?

Back in 1989, Ruth and I could have gone to teach missionary children in Yaounde, Cameroon and we would have had input into the then unbuilt Rain Forest International School, which is still operating and about to move into new buildings this summer.

The other option, which we chose, was to go to Vavoua International School in Ivory Coast which no longer exists partly as a result of the civil disturbances in the country. We taught some really wonderful young people  – some of whom might even comment on this blog!

Had we chosen Cameroon, our lives would have been different – especially we would not have got to know the Kouya people and the Kouya translation project! But I don’t think God would have been unhappy with either choice.

Don Miller says some more stuff…

I want to write an essay saying the statistical chance of God having a specific plan for your life is roughly 1 in 227. I’d base that statistic on scripture, because scripturally, for every one person God had a specific plan for, there were 226 He did not. Joseph was in, Benjamin was out and so on.

Okay, I haven’t actually done the math. It may be 1 in 250 or 1 in 95, but that is hardly the point. The point is we think God is going to tell us exactly what to do, but chances are, He isn’t. It’s just not a Biblical idea.

God does have a general desire for everybody, for them to be reunited with the Trinity through Christ, and for them to have food and shelter and relationships, but I don’t believe God has mapped out a plan for your every day, or even for your every year.

And again…

But I could be wrong. Here’s how you know, based on scripture, whether God has a specific plan for your life:

1. If you are a virgin and you get pregnant anyway.

2. If your donkey talks to you.

3. If an angel wants to wrestle.

If any of this happens to you, God is definitely at work. He also wants you to see a counselor.

And there are a few more. You get the point. If God has something specific for you, you’ll know, I promise.

You can read the whole blog here:  Does God Have a Specific Plan for Your Life? Probably Not

I am currently on the planning team for a high school / university student careers day in Belfast later this year: it’s called Right Move – Is There One? More later…

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