North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Sorting through my college class schedule for my freshmen year in college wasn’t without help. I had been waiting in line for my appointment, when I heard the office assistant call my name, “Ok, Mr. Dobson, you’re next.” I was curious about my choice of classes and had been getting “the scoop” from the other students in line. My academic advisor had it all planned out. She told me to have a seat, pushed the “drop/add” class form in front of me and said, “You need this, this, and this. And I’ll let you pick the last one.” I looked at the list and finally said, “There’s not a whole lot to choose from.” “Yes, I know. Your freshmen year is liberal arts classes. But you’ll enjoy it after that” she explained. “Well, I’ll look forward to that. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just take that one”—as I pointed to the last one on the list. “Career and Life Planning, is that the one you want?” she asked. “Sure, why not? It makes sense to get a handle on that,” I responded. “That’s a great class. I think we all need that one,” she said smiling. “It’s good to plan it all out and know what you’re meant to do. Good luck Mr. Dobson.” And with that, I was out the door and started my trek toward life after high school.
Despite our culture’s life planning and self-fulfillment emphasis, we’re not the ones in charge. Sooner or later the question seems to come to all of us. What am I supposed to do? What is my purpose? Some people ask the question, “How’d I come to do this for a living?” Or they ask, “Why have I been doing this for so long? This was supposed to be temporary.” Our careers and time at work may seem mundane and meaningless at times. It’s perspective and purpose that are the two things we must consider when it comes to our work.
When I finished my Master’s degree, I had professional goals but I had no idea the many different areas of service God would lead me. A Christian can make plans based on what they like to do and what they’re good at, but God always has the best laid plans. When we fully commit ourselves to God and gain new life, we forfeit our self-serving ways and become a part of God’s body. A primary reason for God creating us is to glorify Him. A loving God is not going to place you in a situation or job where he has not equipped you to accomplish it. Sometimes we don’t understand the story God is writing when He leads us from one job to the next. Yet, God sometimes calls people to one vocation and the person devotes their entire professional career to that field.
Throughout one’s professional life there will be unplanned difficulties we have to face. Some of them pushing you to the point of wanting to quit and start doing something else. It’s by an act of faith that we follow His footsteps doing the best we can wherever we’re planted. Proverbs 20:24 says, “The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction their own life is taking?” It takes a day-by-day reliance on a trust-worthy God who will lead you to the place He’s prepared for you. Never get entangled to the point of frustration when unscrambling your professional calling. To do so is to lose sight of your Christian life. It’s less about what we do, and more about how, why, and for who we do things that count at the end of the day.
I remember working on a church staff where a God-honoring janitor took pride in his job. And I ask him one day why he was so happy and he said, “You know, I love my job. I may be a janitor, but I work for good people. I feel like I help people who can help others. God gave me an able body to do the job and I try to do it the right way.” I thought to myself, now here’s a man whose content with life and finds peace and contentment in his work. And he recognized that God provided for him in ways that many people would not recognize as blessings in the work place.
While your life’s work might feel confusing at times, consider it a place where God can use you. If you’re really struggling with what it is you’re doing, ask God is He wanting you to make a move to some other field. Don’t fail in talking to God about it every day. Ask Him to open doors of opportunity if you feel like He may be leading you somewhere else.
The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Col. 3:23). Just remember, whatever your earthly work may be, there’s some eternal impact that can be gained from it. Do the best you can at whatever you do. God honors this and will bless you in ways you might not expect.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Aug 3 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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