3 Things To Do When You’re 24

It’s a curious position to be in, really. If there was a mid-20s life crisis, this would be it. At 24, one isn’t working yet – though my female friends of the same age are. At 24, one is still in school – but there is that yearning for a life beyond.

It’s funny that we sometimes talk about weddings, buying HDB flats, and having families (yes, that’s the order it should be in), while othertimes we talk about how we’re dying from our exams and assignments. There is a fundamental dichotomy, an inherent tension within me. A bird that wants to fly out of it’s cage, but wants to stay within the safety of its confines at the same time. It’s sometimes scary to be on the cusp of full adulthood – as Jesus Himself said, no one who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is worthy of the Kingdom of God.

What then, is God calling me to in this time of my life? What is he calling young men to? First and foremost (and being in line with Brenna’s post), He is calling me to discern. Of course, the most important question in this life would be what is my life’s vocation: Is He calling me to serve Him as a lawyer, to be an advocate for those with no voice? Is He calling me to marriage to emulate the love of His son for the Church? Or is He calling me to the Priesthood for the same? Or is He calling me to something that I haven’t even contemplated myself? Nonetheless, discernment is not just abou the big questions, but the small ones as well. Should I take this activity up? Is it worth my time? Is this what God wants me to do here and now? If we all could listen a little closer, our priorities would be perfect.

Next, He is calling me to dream. Ah, the stuff that men are made of, contrary to popular belief. [1] Dream not of making big bucks in the near future, of posh luxury cars (more of a fantasy than a dream – those COEs. Bleah.) and of being a self-made man (a reference to “The Great Gatsby” – thanks Jason (:). Instead, dream of being a God-made man. Dream His dreams of changing the world. Dream of bringing others to the fount of living water you have found. It could be something small, such as treating everyone you meet (big or small) with love and respect. It also could be something big, like setting up a Catholic law firm with your buddies to bring Christ into the workplace. Whatever it is, let Him dream, through you. Don’t lose that idealism. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose the last vestiges of your child-likeness. It’s normally the first thing to go.

Lastly, He is calling me to be prepared. It’s a big scary world out there. You’ve seen it on FacebookYouTube, ThoughtCatalog , and sometimes, even TheOatmeal (ZOMG MANTIS SHRIMP). And there’s no better time to prepare for this crazy life than now. If I can’t handle my commitments now, would I be able to do so when I start working? If I can’t learn to love the people around me now, would I be able to do so when I am pulled in more directions? If I can’t maintain a disciplined prayer life now, how can I expect to do so later? Tis’ a fact of life. Just as gold is purified by fire, this stage of life prepares us to shine for Him. So let’s get our act together now. There isn’t time to wait until tomorrow!

So there, that’s the three things to do when you’re 24. TAKE THAT THOUGHT CATALOG!!!

[1] Acts 2:17: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and you daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

Timothy Soo

Timothy doesn’t see what’s the fuss about all those Though Catalog articles, I mean, they are just a bunch of lists right? But in the spirit of finding out just how hard they are to write, he decided to try his hand at one. He hopes that his didn’t just give you thoughts though, but Thoughts on How God Is Calling You In Your Life Right Now (: 

Discernment

Recently in life I had a big decision to make, which required great discernment on my part. I was taught this by a Canossian sister:

To answer the question “Should I do X?”

1. Begin with a prayer to surrender all distractions; desires and expectations, to let His will be done.
2. On paper, write, “Do X” and list the pros and cons of making this decision. Leave this paper alone for 2-3 days. Don’t think about it.
3. Repeat above steps for the “Don’t do X” decision.
4. In the process of leaving it alone and not thinking about it, discover where your heart is prompting you towards.
5. Pray on why you feel this way, and if God is calling you to this decision.
6. Have the courage to make the decision.

I followed this process, also making sure to discuss it with those affected by the decision. No point discerning if you may not have the freedom to make the decision.

It was a month long process, meeting God in prayer, adoration and people. I was frustrated because I couldn’t find an answer. But I kept at it, until God revealed to me this line, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion…”

On some level, I wanted the answer to be “Do X” but I was afraid God was calling me to say no. As a person not keen on letting others down, this was extremely difficult. But as I continued praying, God revealed to me more reasons for this decision and gave me courage to say no. Today, I am fully humbled by what it means to submit myself to the will of God, to let myself decrease and let Him increase within me.

– Poey