Clarity in Waiting, by Tyler Gunstream

7 Feb

When I was in kindergarten, we were told to create a book and write about what we want to be when we grow up.  Based on my answer to this premise, I should have known that my career goals in my adult life would be all over the board.  In my book I explained that I wanted to be a cop, and if that didn’t work out I wanted to be the Karate Kid.  Ralph Macchio would have been so proud.

Throughout my life I’ve struggled with the question: What am I to do with my life?  When I was a junior in High School, I went to the Nazarene Youth Conference (NYC) in Toronto.  One evening during our nightly “camp meeting” near the end of our trip, our speaker of the night was talking about being called to ministry.  I honestly don’t remember much to the message, let alone the name of the speaker.  But I do remember that he called for all the teens that were being called to ministry, to step forward so the rest of us could pray for them.  I struggled with this deeply, for I didn’t “hear” a call of any kind.  In my mind I struggle with “do I get up with the crowd just so some attention is drawn to me” or “do I stay in my seat”.

During those brief moments, I prayed to God pleading with Him to tell me what He was going to do with my life.  I saw all these people around me knowing full well what they were called to do, what they were going to be doing with the rest of their lives.  Why can’t I have that clarity?  Lord I’m going to college soon, I need to know what you want me to do so that I can pick the correct field of study.  Why is everyone around me so sure of what you want them to do?  Don’t you realize I’m running out of time?

But then I hear two words as clear as day: Just wait.

Just wait?  Wait for what?

Over the next 6 years things began to change.  I found myself delving into all kinds of avenues for a potential career later in life.  I went to college with the thought of either studying Computer Science or Film.  I attend classes in both and soon found I’d rather move towards the film aspect, dreaming of being the next big film maker in Hollywood.  But then again I struggled with the thought of what part of film do I want to focus on.

Still I heard those two words.

My interests in film moved from directing to acting to editing.  I still felt like I had no clear direction except to just wait.  Wait!?  After college, I didn’t have the desire to move out to Hollywood to begin a film career, and often thought: Lord did you waste my time and money in college?  To pay bills, I got a job in the Title and Escrow business, all the while dabbling in my own video production for a while, picking up small projects here and there; even creating my own web series.  But then again, I still felt like this isn’t what I was supposed to wait for.  My desire for it all was diminishing.

Two Christmas’ ago, I was given eight books.  My first thought was, “Oh great, I hate reading.  Here are some more books to take up my shelf and collect dust.”  But then I felt like I should give the books a chance.  If I liked the first, then I’ll read the next.  If I liked that one, then move on to the next.  And so I did.  That year I read 26 books.  A fire had been lit under me and I began to see what I was waiting for.

I remember as a kid, a number of missionaries being called to places they really didn’t want to go.  Even the bible tells of various people called to do things they didn’t want to do but God sent them anyways.  I began to see what God had been preparing me for all along.  I began to see why I was so interested in a number of different things, moving all around in different avenues of study and vocation.  He was training me for something, something so out of left field that if He told me back in my junior year of High School, sitting in that large arena with youth from all over the Country I would have laughed at Him and thought He was crazy.

I finally heard and understood the call of what He wants me to do: write.  And not just opinions or reviews to a movie.  But on a broader scale, to write novels, tell stories.  Just as I heard Him tell me to wait, I finally heard Him say to me: Alright, let’s go.

Over these last 2 years I’ve been learning more and more.  God is preparing me for the plunge of beginning my writing, leaning on Him for His direction day in and day out.  Continually keeping the fire lit.  Teaching me more and more to fully understand to what it means to truly follow and rely on Him in everything.

Through all of this, the thing I have learned most importantly is that putting all our trust and faith in God, submitting to His will also includes trusting in His timing.  And it is so interesting that even as Christians we need to be reminded of that time and time again.  His will, not ours.  His timing, not ours.  He’s prepared the way, going on the journey with us, but also He’s waiting for us at the end.

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