4 August 2022

Heading in the right direction and not worrying about the route

Lieutenant Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone being commissioned
Cadet Matthew Stone being commissioned
Lieutenant Matthew Stone, of the newly commissioned Messengers of Reconciliation session, shares his story.

When I’m driving I don’t like the feeling of not knowing where I am going and I definitely don’t like it when I’ve followed the sat-nav’s instructions only to hear: ‘Redirecting...’

As I reflect on my calling to officership, there have been a number of times when I thought I knew where I was going, only to hear: ‘Redirecting...’

I recently heard someone share their testimony having been accepted for officer training. When asked what they would say to someone who thinks they might have been called to officership, they replied: ‘Just say yes!’

A group photo of the Messengers of Reconciliation
The Messengers of Reconciliation

It’s a response I had heard before. It might be the response you need to hear today. But for me it triggered another thought: what happens when you say yes and things don’t work out the way you expected? That was my first experience when I explored my calling a number of years ago.

In hindsight, I recognise that I was exploring God’s calling on my life, but spending too much time going in the direction that I thought was right. I thought that I’d heard the instructions correctly, only to hear: ‘Redirecting...’ I stepped away from the application process and felt I didn’t know where I was going. But God used that time to shape and equip me for what was to come.

In time, the right moment came to explore again. Except it wasn’t about exploring a set route. It was about exploring who God had made me to be, whatever that looked like and wherever that took me. It was a process marked by peace and a sense of heading in the right direction, even if I didn’t know the exact direction that was.

Stephen Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote about our circle of concern – things that concern us but we can’t do much about – and our circle of influence – things we can do something about. I encourage you to explore who God has made and called you to be, whatever that looks like and wherever that takes you. Recognise your part and trust God for the rest. He’ll take you to some wonderful places!

Written by

Matthew Stone

Lieutenant Matthew Stone

Corps Officer, Southampton Sholing

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