Being a Christian is hard. No, I don’t mean because we’re persecuted. What do Americans know about persecution? Even as Christians we’re at the top of the food chain. What I mean is, following our faith is hard.

See, even Christians still struggle to figure out their lives. Whenever you hear someone says, “God just won’t answer me,” they really do feel like God has abandoned them. Whenever you hear a person saying, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life,” they really mean they aren’t sure where the best fit in.

I’m one of those people.

I was catching up with a professor from undergrad a couple weeks back, asking questions about getting some more schooling. The questions I was asking were attempting to figure out if that’s what I should be doing with my life, and what the next step would be from there. It’s funny when I talk to people about that. Generally, people give me that blank stare which means, “How should I know what you should do with your life? I don’t even know what I’m doing with mine!”

This professor friend of mine surprised me. He said to me, “I believe that God gives some people specific tasks, and they should be following them. For others, He points them to the Torah and says to follow it.”

This was one of the more profound things I’ve ever heard.

It turns out, I’m not one of those people who God gave a specific task. I’m not Steve Jobs, out to change the computing world. I’m not Barak Obama, leading the most powerful and influential country in the world. I have not been given a task as profound and deep as that.

At first, I was depressed. Why wouldn’t God choose me to do something great? It’s amazing that our first reactions always seem to be the negative ones, huh? As I pondered what my professor friend said, I realized how freeing it was. To people like Jobs and Obama, specifics tasks are given and greatness tends to follow, but they walk a very fine line. For them, doing right means leading God’s children to a better future; screwing up, well, we all know what history does to people like Hitler.

For the rest of us, our only “task,” then, is to follow the Torah. What we do with the rest of our lives, well, is up to us. Essentially, I weigh my hopes and dreams agains the skills that I have, and pick a path that will best suit my joys and help the most people. It seems scary because I still don’t quite know what that path will be. Yet, it’s freeing because I now know that whatever mistakes I make will not affect the Kingdom too badly; God hadn’t placed that burden on me.

Sometimes, Being a Christian is hard. It means following God wherever He decides to take you.

Other times, being a Christian isn’t so bad. I get to find the best way of expressing who I am in the Kingdom. That’s not so hard. In fact, all I have to do is, well, be me.

photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC via photopin cc

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