When I was a teenager, I had a conversation whilst lounging on the floor of my best friend’s house and we talked about how we wanted our lives to be dictated by two main things. The first was an idealistic need to change the world by impacting it in a lasting way (even then ambitious at best), and the second was to have a wild, crazy adventure with God whilst doing it.
At the time, the plan was that my best friend would go off to medical school in hopes of becoming a doctor while I would study law and get a pilot’s license while he finished residency. The goal of all this was to buy a bush plane and fly around Africa serving as a medico-legal team and leave the continent forever better. That was our dream and prayer then, to make that world change via humanitarian work in Africa.
In the years between making that life plan and now, God changed my direction multiple times. My life plan no longer looks the same, but I’ve come away with lessons that have served me well in terms of navigating life’s twists and turns. I have learned that changing the world is something that we’re all called to do from day one. We’re called to partner with God in transforming our world into order and working out of love for one another. He has also taught me that I don’t need to see a huge impact from what I do to know I am working to change the world.
God has shown me how what we do is already directly shaping our little corner of the world around us; my work, though far removed from law or flying right now, is making a small, steady change in the corner of the world that I get to see. Some seasons show bigger impacts whilst others show smaller, but I can choose to trust each day that my work, if done in worship, is partnering with God to manifest His order amidst the chaos.
I have seen this most readily in this last year where I served with a women’s shelter in Wan Chai. I can feel lives changing slowly but surely through the legal research and coordination I do for them. I may not be fighting directly against the evil of human trafficking here in Hong Kong but I’ve come to see the impact of small actions on individual lives when I am present even with just one person coming through the shelter.
The wild, crazy adventure part of the original plan has also changed. I’ve had to defer things to the future in the years since the original plan, leading me to work in places I never would have seen myself in. It’s not an adventure in Kenya, but each season has been a wild adventure in and of itself. But what I can’t deny is that each season has been a wild, crazy adventure as He leads me into each and every one. This isn’t to say that I’ve been serving in the underbrush in Kenya but rather that by God’s grace, I’ve come to see how each season we have a chance to have joy for the new set of circumstances we face. These are some of the things I learned in the two jobs I worked over the last year. One of those was with an NGO and the other was with an agri-tech startup. Working with the NGO was exactly what I wanted to do and the startup was a crazy wild card that I enjoyed even more. Neither of them was planned nor were they easy. But God showed up and taught me deeply in each of them.
I believe that we have a supernatural power, by the Holy Spirit, to call life and excitement into each season we face. This is a heart and mind conditioning that we cultivate with gratitude and surrender. Most of my seasons over the past two years haven’t been highs, most of them are new lows. Where I’ve struggled the most yet seen the most victory is wrestling to ask why and to give praise regardless of the answer. Where we give praise is also where we begin to experience joy, and it’s in this joy that I find the confidence to keep clarifying my direction.
What I cannot deny is that they are each wild, crazy adventures – full of Him. And that’s all I need in the meantime. We don’t need to have all the answers to our calling and purpose but we do need a heart that seeks constantly and patiently.