Modern life can be harrowing. As millennials age into an uncertain economy, a "gig” based job market that promises no stability or long-term prospects, and are met with grim news every evening, many are feeling the strain. In a world that feels like it’s falling apart a little more every day, what can we hold on to?
The answer has to be God.
There are no easy solutions for the problems facing us today, but we can always depend on God as a guidepost. By focusing on Him and listening close for His plan for us, we can still find peace and fulfillment in a world where those qualities are increasingly scarce. Keep the following tips in mind for living your best life, one that is both directly and spiritually fulfilling.
Listen for your calling
What should your priorities be? As Christians, we know that our first and primary responsibility is to God, after that our families, but what about after that? What should you be doing with your life? This is where it is important to be receptive to what your heart is telling you and allow God to guide you towards your calling.
All of us will feel a different call. Some may be called to ministry. Others may feel as though they should be doing more in their community. There are many of us who feel like we should be doing something else with our lives, that our jobs are not creating anything of spiritual worth (or in some cases might be contributing to harm in our community and society). And still, there are those who may honestly feel like they are already doing exactly what God wants for them, that’s perfectly valid as well. But if the reality of who you are isn’t matching up with the image of who you should be, it’s time for a change. We are only given one life to lead in service to our Lord, make sure you are spending it wisely.
When you do hear your calling, be ready to pursue it passionately. Life is hard, we all have bills to pay and mouths to feed, and it can be incredibly difficult to make changes or pursue a new path when you come home exhausted and beat. But if you really feel God calling you to make a change in your life, you can’t ignore it, it’s something that must be done. Remember that has hard as this feels now, you will feel so much happier and more fulfilled when you are doing what God has called on you to do.
Cut out the distractions
Sometimes when people feel they have no direction in life, it has more to do with being pulled in several different directions at once. One of the dangers of modern living is that there is just so much to see and do and take part in. Too much for anyone really. Technology like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix mean we’re connected every single second to ongoing conversations with our friends, the never-ending onslaught of news and opinion, and more content than you could hope to watch in several lifetimes. We spend so much time treading water just keeping up with these (and other) distractions that it shouldn’t be a surprise we don’t feel like we’re getting anywhere spiritually or emotionally.
Cutting down on the noise in your life will help you hear what you’re supposed to do more clearly. This doesn’t mean you need to go cold turkey on technology and live like a monk, but it does mean you might need to set limits in your life. Simple rules like "No Facebook/Twitter after 6:00pm” can do wonders - so can making peace with not seeing every major series or movie that drops in a season. Getting over your fear of missing out or not being able to contribute to water cooler chat will free you up to pursue more meaningful things in your life.
Find the people who will support you
One of the best things you can do for your life in general and your spiritual life in particular is to surround yourself with people who understand and support you. Cut out the distractions and bring in the people who truly matter. Take the time to focus on your family, grow and strengthen those bonds. Connect with your friends who want the best for you and take genuine interest in what you care about. Find fellow travelers who also love the Lord and share your values in the field or area you want to be in. Make friends with people who are smarter than you, more experienced than you, who have been through more. Learn from them and be challenged by them, grow with them.
If your life is feeling empty or if you feel you’re not on the path God wants for you, don’t ignore it. The most tragic thing you could do would be to continue down a road that leaves you numb and disconnected from God’s plan for you. Live up to your priorities, listen for God’s calling, and when you hear it, pour your faith and energy into it. When you feel like you’re doing what is right, both your worldly and spiritual life will bloom.