Monday, 24 November 2014

Filling Time

It's that time of year folks. People are graduating from high school or uni, finishing up work commitments or just coming to the end of another long and winding year. I know the feeling. All my exams are finished, things are winding down at work, holidays are now looming. All of which is a massive least until next year. All I can do is stare blankly, shrug my shoulders and sigh as I watch my 2015 calendar quickly fill up while the realisation dawns that next year is going to be MASSIVE! This time of finishing, be it school or work, is crucial. The way that we collate, review and evaluate our experiences and learnings directly effects the way that we respond in the future.

What I really want to do is go for a drive. I want to hop into my car and just hit the road. I can imagine it now: windows down, wind rushing through my car, ruffling my hair. My favourite playlist playing, I would be drumming along on the steering wheel, singing like no one is watching (and probably drawing funny looks from other motorists). I would drive winding roads which dance their way through green, rolling hills. The smell of country air would refresh my worn soul. The destination would be unclear, but the journey would clear my head. Nice picture, right?

That might all sound like some sort of fantastical escapism; and I think in our entertainment driven world of screens (phones, laptops, tvs) it's really easy to bury ourselves away in a world of fantasy. Many times I have found myself with assignment deadlines and work projects encroaching my free head space, choosing to self-medicated with hours of youtube, facebook and itunes.

It's easy to escape when we should instead be engaged. But then, when things have settled and there are no deadlines, there is suddenly way, way too much time to waste on youtube, facebook or itunes. I think as young people we too quickly fill our time up with stuff and things, we don't actually use time when we have it.

Perhaps instead of filling time we need to let time fill us up, to spend time rather than waste it. That's why I'm going to go for a drive. Clear my head, get away from the constructs of humanity and get to somewhere where I can appreciate some of God's good nature. I yearn to take some time to appreciate: appreciate the year that's been, appreciate all the comings and going, the ups and the downs and to rekindle my hopes and dreams with renewed optimism.

Many of us will be making some sort of life decisions as we approach the New Year. It's important that as we make those decisions we're intentional with how we use our time. Be intentional and use this time to pause, to reflect and to engage with the questions: where am I going, what am I doing, who am I? Time might take you on a random drive or to a coffee shop, wherever it takes you embrace the seclusion, empty yourself and allow some time for God to speak to you.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Things I wish I knew when I finished Year 12

Dear Year 12 friends,

Over the last few years we've visited and shared with many of you and we're uber excited for you as you finish school this week. All of us here at Vocations Brisbane put our heads together and came up with some things we wanted to tell you as you begin the next chapter of your lives, things we wish we had heard when we finished Year 12:
  • make good decisions
  • do the right thing
  • make peace with your parents
  • talk to Jesus when you drive, no road rage
  • know your rights and obligations
  • if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got
  • your mistakes don't define you unless you choose for them to. It's a choice to live and learn with your past.
  • at the bare minimum, your mum gave birth to you - it won't hurt you as much to call her once a week
  • live the moments that mean the most to you - not your instagram followers
  • respect is earned regardless of how old you are
  • uni/tafe/work are not always going to be fun, you got to work hard to live the life you're passionate about
  • you don't need to know your full life path at this moment
Honestly, I wish someone had told me life wasn't like fairytales or hollywood productions. That might seem obvious, we don't walk around to epic sound tracks with dramatic special effects accompanying each moment. What I mean is life isn't scripted. At least not like it is on tv or movies. All those points above are about navigating through life's unexpected twists and turns, about making some sense of it all. Because the reality is there is a point to life. A very big point. Sometimes though he messiness of life can cover that point up, distract us from it or even turn us right off it. And that my friends is the point: everyone in this life has mess that they have to burden or deal with or try to make sense of.

Vocation is the call to sort not just your own mess, but to help others with their mess in the midst of your own. We can spend our whole lives figuring out how we're meant to do that. I think I speak for all of us here at Vocations Brisbane in saying that it's worth it. It is worth it. It is worth questioning and searching and seeking and offering your life - as messy as it might be - to help others sort their mess.

And honestly, at the end of the day is doesn't even matter how that looks. It doesn't matter what job or occupation or training or vocation you have in life. Just that you do it. Just that you are generous with your own powerful, yet messy life. And that might seem a little bit scary - that's because it is. As we have visited and shared with you we have encountered your creativity, your ambition, your passion and your giftedness. You might not feel ready for the world yet and that's ok, the world probably isn't ready for you yet either! We believe in you and we're praying for you all. Remember we have a big God and that God is love, so when things get scary always remember there's a lot of love for you. 

Much love and prayers,
the Vocations Brisbane team