We make choices and decisions every day of our lives, some of them are rather mundane, such as what we will wear in the morning or what we might eat for lunch. Other decisions have more long term significance, such as what we will pursue for a summer job between college semesters or a change in our career or vocational pursuits. Obviously some of these choices are more difficult to make than others. What we wear in the morning might be influenced by what the weather is like and what we are doing that day. Even if the choice we make is not the best, it only affects us for the balance of one day, and the next day we get to start over.
Other decisions are more complex and the results have a tendency to have longer effects on our lives. The factors influencing these decisions are numerous, ranging from social and peer pressures, to the well-meaning advice of other people in our lives. Sometimes these influences add clarity and other times they simply muddy the waters further. At times it is helpful to take a step back from all of the external influences and focus on what your internal heart and soul are telling you to do.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans he advises the Romans, ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ (Romans 12:2) From my perspective, this can be advice that is easier said than done. It is not easy to block out all of the distractions and commotion of life and really focus on what is important and crucial in our decision making process. Some folks find it helpful to physically remove themselves from the commotion (by spending time at one of our camps for example). Other people find clarity is gained by consulting with a select number of trusted friends. Whatever your personal technique might be, in the end, it is truly helpful to focus in on what your heart is calling you to do.
As future, present, and past staffers of Pilgrim Center and Moon Beach make decisions around their summer employment, please know that you are being held in prayer and that ultimately it is best to follow your heart. We pray that you might find what is good and acceptable and perfect.
~Rev. Nathan Athorp