Part of our life-journey is to find out who we are, our purpose for existence and where we belong. The task of finding ourselves is extremely difficult- especially when we have believed for many years that we’re born for a specific vocation- only to find out later that perhaps we were…mistaken.
The life-journey of finding ourselves is difficult enough for every young person, but what happens when you’re 50-years old, and you’re the non-conformist type? What if at 50 (or whatever age) you come to the realization that you’re unhappy with the “niche” that you chose for the rest of your life? What happens when you have people who depend on you and will be affected if you choose a different path?
Life is short and it should be lived… but is it moral to choose a path that will affect those around you? Every sentient being has the inherent right to choose his or her own destiny, but is it right to do so at the expense of others?
A mirror that is turned outside-in, exists only to reflect itself. A person who was created as an image of God becomes selfish when it is turned outside-in, living only in order to gratify itself.- jcr
Is there ever a right time to quit a job? How about quitting a friendship, a vocation or even a religion? Yes, there is a right time; but making a definitive, life-changing decision under the effects of stress is never the right time. Stress is a natural reaction that stimulates the “fight or flight” responses of self-preservation. That is not the right time to make a life-altering decision that one will most likely come to regret when under a different scenario.
Since we were created in the image and likeness of God, the first thing one should do is ask ourselves: “How is my relationship with God?” Or better yet…turn to God in prayer and ask Him what He thinks about your relationship with Him. Like Jesus, we should first seek to please God- for His will is always perfect and fulfilling. (Psalm 18:30)
The second thing we should do is to look at our role in helping others.
Lord Jesus taught us that the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” was just as great as the first, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Matthew 22:36-40) We are all concerned with our own, personal well-being (Ephesians 5:29), but as created images of the divine, we should also be as concerned for the well-being of other humans. This is why Lord Jesus taught us that the injunction to love our neighbor is as great as the commandment to love God with our whole heart.
A mirror finds its purpose by reflecting the source of its reflection. Human beings find fulfillment when they seek to reflect the source of its creation, and their fellow images of God.-jcr
If your life-changing decision is based on the love of God and the well-being of your neighbor- then do it without regret. But if your current situation pleases God and you seek the well-being of others before your own, then remain in your situation, even if it creates pain for you at the present time. (Colossians 1:24)
It might be that God is using your present situation in order to mold you into a living saint for the salvation and inspiration of others!
“If God causes you to suffer much it is a sign that He has great designs for you and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.” Ignatius of Loyola