I spend more than a little time in my role as a professional coach talking to Christian doctors. I talk to some of them over coffee in the town where I live; others I talk to on the phone, or perhaps on a Zoom call. As a pastor and coach who sort of specializes in coaching Christian doctors, I have the privilege of spending quality time with some of the brightest people on the planet. I’m always humbled by that opportunity, and I take my responsibility as a coach very seriously.
One of the topics most often discussed when I’m coaching a doctor is the concept of ‘leading.’ Christian doctors are very dedicated and most of them see medicine as a high and holy calling on their lives. They believe God led them into a life of serving others through medicine. However, occasionally — in fact, it is not uncommon at all — after some years of practicing medicine, a doctor will sense God may be leading them in a different direction, and they want to talk about ‘change’ in their lives. In particular, a common question a doctor asks me as a professional coach is: “How do I know God is leading me?” That’s not a question unique to doctors of course.
My response to that question is nearly always a question of my own. (Coaches ask lots and lots of questions to help promote discovery and awareness in our PBC, or person being coached!) I often respond to the ‘how do I know’ question’ with this: “What makes you think He isn’t leading you? Or “When you sense a feeling you associate with ‘leading’ what causes you to question if it’s God?”
What follows is usually a lot more dialogue about their particular set of circumstances, their feeling like they need a change, or to perhaps go a different direction. Often, part of the discovery process about their mindset and the way they view themselves and God reveals a sort of ‘insecure’ feeling that says, “I can’t be trusted to decide where I should go or what I should do. I have to have God tell me what to do. And I’m having a hard time recognizing what He’s saying to me.”
Two pictures develop when thinking through such a mindset.:
One is of a play yard filled with incredible things; wonderful opportunities, tools to grow amazing ministries, chances to express God’s grace in fabulous ways. And the God of that Play Yard is saying, ‘I’m the only one who knows what you should do, and I’m not going to make it easy for you. You’ll have to ‘guess’ and hope you’re right. Otherwise, you lose.”
The second picture is of the same play yard filled with the same incredible things; wonderful opportunities, tools to grow amazing ministries, chances to express God’s grace in fabulous ways. And the God of that Play Yard writes, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. So, look on the play yard. I see your deep desire to follow me. You choose. You pick. “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you in your unperfectness know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does the God of the Play Yard know how to give you good gifts to choose from.”
Go ahead. Ask. Choose. And I will make your choices explode with divine grace, mercy, and love. “
The God of the Play Yard writes in Romans chapter 8: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. … He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
If you have choices to make in your life? Go ahead and prayerfully choose. Watch what the God of the Play Yard does with your choices.