This question was posed to me by one of my professors while I was in college. I often engaged in lengthy conversations with this mentor where he posed difficult life questions to me. In the spring of 1985, he challenged me to think about where my life was headed and how I would live.
Although my life has not followed the path I thought it would then, a vow I made at that time has been a guiding factor, an anchor over the course of my life.
Classes were over, finals were nearly complete and that year's graduation exercises were rapidly approaching. One warm spring day I made my way to a quiet spot in a large, old cemetery on the banks of the Susquehanna River. There I wrestled with God about what He wanted for me. I read verses from my Bible about the solemnity of making a vow to God. I prayed. I journaled. Eventually a vow emerged, a vow to serve God all my life long.
At that time I imagined I would take the good news of Jesus to some foreign country, but instead my life took a different path. My journey led me to teach in my own country, to work in a church first with youth and later with adults. Through bumps and bruises, through times of great satisfaction and times of doubt my heart has led me back over and over to this anchor, this call, this vow that when all is said and done I want God to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." My service has not been perfect. I am an average woman seeking to please God with her life and I fail and falter. Yet, this promise to God and His Spirit in my life cause me to get back up each time I falter, to try again.
Currently, I find myself in a season of change and transition. The path I thought I would take turned a bend and all was different. I am looking forward to what the next season will hold, some days with anticipation, some days with fear. I wonder where serving Christ will take me next, but I am thankful that in a world of change one piece of the puzzle remains solid - my purpose in life is to serve my Savior.
Have you ever made a vow or a decision that has had a life shaping effect on you?
I'd love to hear about it.