“What am I supposed to do with my life?” That’s a question many people, especially college students, find themselves asking regularly. In the video below, posted by Fuller Theological Seminary, Dr. N.T. Wright, leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews, explains why spiritual formation and vocation or calling go hand in hand.
Watch the video and then process what Dr. Wright says with some questions below.
Trying to discern your calling can feel big and scary, that’s fair. This video should be very comforting because Dr. Wright gives applicable advice about discerning your vocation and calling. It’s important to remember that formation and vocation will happen simultaneously. To discern a call, you have to be working on becoming more mature spiritually. In choosing a major, you did some thinking about what interests you and how you have been gifted. Let’s think more about where those two things intersect.
- What made you choose your major?
- What gifts do you expect to utilize in your field of study?
- What do you expect to learn about your calling through your major?
In the video, Dr. Wright specifically points out prayer life, there seems to be a direct correlation between being a person of prayer and being a discerning person. Becoming a person of prayer does not happen overnight. In fact, it is easy to feel overwhelmed if you jump into the deep end before you know how to swim. Start small! It would be unfair to expect yourself to be able to spend hours in prayer and meditation immediately. Begin with five-minute increments. Next week spend five minutes in prayer daily. Here are some prayer topics ideas:
- Spend five minutes in prayer for discernment about your calling.
- Spend five minutes in prayer about how to best use your gifts for God’s kingdom.
- Spend five minutes in prayer about how best use your gifts to learn more about your calling now.
The work to discern your calling is just beginning! Stay encouraged because it is worthwhile work. Hebrews 12:1 is a helpful reminder that you are surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses” or people who have gone before you on the journey. Dr. Wright is one of those people, so don’t take his words lightly.
Kathleen Post is the Ministry Associate for Global Missions and a graduate student at Truett Seminary.