My younger sister had followed me to Richmond, VA, for college. She was a freshman full of hope and wonder. I was a senior trying desperately to graduate on time.
She would talk with my parents more often than I, and it seemed as if she would relay the same message weekly: “Your mother wants to know what you want to do with your life.”
I would reply, “I think I will go to clown school and run away to join the circus.” I wish I could say my reply was solely for showing off my razor-sharp wit in front of our friends. However, I honestly had no idea what I was going to do after college. It is something that I wrestled with almost daily. Not knowing: Is there a greater sin?
John the Baptist said of Jesus, “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel; therefore, I came baptizing with water. (Jn 1:29-31, NKJV)”
John was the OT prophet to transition to the time of Christ; he was the prophet who presided over the transition from B.C. to A.D.
Yet even John couldn’t pick Jesus out of a lineup. Jesus wasn’t walking around at 6’3” while everyone else was in the 5’ range. He didn’t have a halo around His head for everyone to see.
So what was John to do? He knew that Jesus would be revealed; until that happened, he began to call for repentance and to baptize with water.
John did not have a five-year or a ten-year plan in the works. He had God’s plan: 1. Prepare the way for Jesus. 2. Be faithful where you are until He shows you something different.
John didn’t know what Jesus would look like. He didn’t know when Jesus would appear. He didn’t know exactly what Jesus would do or how He would do it when He appeared.
John should be an encouragement to us. We have been convinced that we should have everything figured out. People often ask us for a five-year plan or a ten-year plan. I find myself asking the same thing of students: What do you plan to do?
But John’s plan is a good example of faith for us. Although God certainly cares for every detail of our lives, He may not lay out all the instructions for us to see at one time.
So what do we do in the meantime? We act according to what we have received. And do you know we have received so much more than John? John walked in faith even though he says, “I did not know Him.” We know Him!
We have received the Gospel in its fullness and entirety. Let us share our salvation and our hope with the world! We have been able to place our faith in a Savior who has already completed His mission and conquered death. Let us rejoice and share our joy with others.
We have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness. Let us walk in these things until God gives us the specifics. Let us be kingdom-minded.
Now that doesn’t mean that we should never make plans, or that we should fly by the seat of our pants (clown pants or otherwise). It does mean that we do not always have to have everything figured out and decided ahead of time.
I understand being undecided, unsure, and fretting about what to do next. But we must resist the temptation to be brought back again to fear, anxiety, and worry about the unknown, even by innocent questions.
If I am asked again what I am going to do with my life, I can reply honestly, “I will remain faithful where I am until the Lord shows me something different.”