Why Is Deciding What to Do Next So Hard?

I’m not sure what I ought to be doing next. Why does deciding this feel so hard?

When we see our skills and work as gifts from God, we can put pressure on ourselves and others to get it exactly right. It’s hard not to feel like something is wrong with us when we’re struggling with decisions. How do we be gracious to ourselves and others in this situation?

One way we can make better decisions is through seeking advice. But even getting helpful advice is often difficult. So much has changed in the past decades in terms of technology, jobs, and economic uncertainty. There were times when getting a university degree translated easily into getting a well-paid job, regardless of what you studied. Now a university education often means accumulating a lot of debt without the certainty of a job. But not going to university also limits what job you can do, so it feels like a no-win situation. Whether we’re giving or receiving advice, it’s hard to know what advice, even if it comes from experience and love, is truly wisdom for today’s situation.

Perhaps indecisiveness is not the biggest problem. It’s genuinely hard to know how to shape the things we are passionate about into a paid job. It’s not likely to be a straight path either. So many jobs, such as teacher, journalist, or musician, are either hard to find or unlikely to pay a living wage. Following God’s calling to use your gifts to meet the world’s needs then requires creativity. It might mean piecing together several jobs, volunteering, or learning to live with less. Determining what’s next is a complex journey that is less about how good you and your efforts are in pursuing the job you love and more about how you might love God and others by being faithful with the gifts and opportunities you’ve been given.

May you also trust that the Spirit will guide you into the right next steps and redirect you as necessary. This doesn’t change how hard the decision(s) might be, but we can have comfort in knowing that God—and the community God has given us—are with us on the journey.

About the Author

Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink is the CRC chaplain at the University of Toronto. She attends Willowdale CRC in Toronto, Ont.

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