Monday, May 18, 2015

Finding God's Will, Part 5

Here I Am: Now What Should I Be Doing? by Quentin J. Schultze. Baker Books, 2005. 109 pages. ISBN 0801065453 $12.50

Here I Am: Now What on Earth Should I be Doing? by Quentin Schultze is both similar and different from the three other books I earlier reviewed on knowing the will of God for one's life. It is similar because it addresses similar questions of the earlier books: What is God's will for my life? What does he want me to do with my life. It is different because it has a different slant on the subject. It distinguishes vocation (calling) from station, the places we live out our callings. Your stations include "jobs, situations, and relationships." These stations may change every day. Schultze, a professor at Calvin college for over thirty years draws on both his experience of teaching and mentoring college students at Calvin and his own personal experience of following God's call.

Schultze asserts that our primary call is to follow Jesus Christ. We do this through serving others in all of our life's stations. A big part of our call is being care-takers. We are to care for others faithfully wherever God stations us. We are also part of God's plan to renew all things. The author notes, "The Bible says that each of us is called to care for God's world. The Old Testament defines this caring as 'being a blessing to others.' The New Testament focuses on 'loving God and neighbor.' God calls his people of all ages to be sacrificial care-takers, not to selfish career-seekers" (9). Schultze's emphasis on doing the will of God in our current situation is helpful. Too often we focus on the future when God's will lies clearly at hand.

The author believes that "our calling is a life-long process of connecting our shared vocation with our individual stations" (10). In other words, we are to work out our salvation in all of our stations. Our stations will change throughout our life, but our call to follow Christ in all our stations will not.

The book includes eight brief chapters. Chapter one discusses identifying our vocation and stations. The author states that God's call is "more like an unfolding relationship than a carefully planned trip" (13). As declared in the title, we make ourselves available to God. Chapter two tells us how to join God in the renewing of all things. We are to apply our faith to the world. We must live in the world and make a difference. The author notes, "whether we work in education, business, medicine, counseling, or recreation, we can by grace participate in God's renewal of a broken world" (26). Other chapters discuss monitoring our heart, caring for others and our stations, celebrating leisure, "flourishing in communities," friendship, hospitality, being a good neighbor, and leaving a legacy.

This brief book of 108 pages can be read quickly, but will provide much benefit to the reader. Any person seeking to know God's will for her life would not want to overlook this book. The author's emphasis on being faithful to our current situations is a good corrective to overemphasis on future-oriented thinking. In addition, he provides examples and insight on how to make the important decisions that all college students must make.

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