I can't tell you the number of times I have heard this question shouted and whispered from the trembling lips of students, from the pulsing heartbeat of my spouse and from the deep dark corners of my own being. We all ask it. We are all haunted at times by the silence that seems to so often follow it.
"What am I supposed to do with my life?!"
The author of the Gospel of Luke writes that as Jesus began his public ministry he went to the synagogue in Nazareth and was handed the scroll of Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and read these words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19 NRSV). We are then told that Jesus rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the attendant. With all eyes fixed on him, Jesus then said, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Those gathered in his hometown synagogue were mystified by these words. Jesus had just proclaimed what was to be the arc of his ministry and the nature of his call to all of those who had ears to hear.
Indeed, these words came to characterize Jesus’ earthly ministry. He lived into this proclamation in both word and deed.
I think there may be even something more in these words.
What would happen if those of us who follow Jesus would allow our lives to be characterized by these words from the prophet Isaiah?
What would come to pass if we answered our question with this bold statement?
How would it change the manner in which we practice our skillset and implement our training?
Future physician - how would it change the way you heal?
Future teacher - how would it impact the manner in which you lead students toward discovery?