Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life

The waterbed, the pinprick, and the tidal wave

  • Justin Zoradi
Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life

A friend told me that while he hated bussing tables at the restaurant where he was working, he was still waiting for God to tell him what to do with his life. He believed that if he was patient enough and did his work well, eventually God would reveal his true calling.

I told him I don’t think God works like that.

We all want to do meaningful work and find our passion, but I can guarantee you this: Your purpose in life will never be written on the wall. And it will never be revealed to you in full.

I watched a brilliant video recently where some Danish filmmakers did a bunch of really stupid things and slowed them down to 2,500 frames a second. They blew up microwaves, chain-sawed coke bottles, and at the very end, pricked a tiny hole in a waterbed. At first, nothing really happened. A few drops of water spilled out. But in a matter of seconds, 200 gallons exploded from that tiny hole, flooding the bedroom.

You want to do meaningful work? Stop sitting on your hands waiting for God to tell you what to do.

No matter how lofty, unattainable, or idealistic, choose that one thing that keeps you up at night and stick a pin through it. Only then can the tidal wave of God’s glory and purpose flood your bedroom.

It seems like a lot of people are walking around holding that pin, scared to commit to putting it somewhere. Many people die holding it, their purpose and passion endlessly prayed for but never pursued.

I believe God joins us only when we take that initial risk. If you have a tiny twinge of passion toward anything, you have to jump right through it on your own. It is there that God will meet you.


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Comments (67)

  • Jason Vana

    Jason Vana

    25 April 2012 at 14:55 |
    While I do believe there are times when God gives us a clear calling and tells us what we need to work towards, a lot of what we actually do is up to us. If we are truly following him and start walking down a path He doesn't want for us, He will correct us and push us back where we need to be. But we have to take an initial step and do something.
    • Larry Rutledge

      Larry Rutledge

      25 April 2012 at 18:18 |
      @Jason - I agree with you, in fact one of my life verses I believe speaks to this. Isaiah 30:21 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.' " God (the voice behind you) will tell you which way is the right way to go, but it necessitates us stepping out and making a move in some direction first. How can He say we are going in the wrong direction if we aren't moving?
      • Justin Zoradi

        Justin Zoradi

        25 April 2012 at 19:31 |
        Love that Larry. "How can He say we are going in the wrong direction if we aren't moving?"
      • Jason Vana

        Jason Vana

        25 April 2012 at 19:33 |
        I love that thought, Larry. We can't be going in the wrong direction if we aren't even moving. We're so afraid sometimes of making the wrong decision, that we don't even move, but I have to believe that if I truly am following Christ with my whole heart, His desires will become my desires and I will make decisions within his will. And if I don't, He will make a course correct.
        • Larry Rutledge

          Larry Rutledge

          25 April 2012 at 21:33 |
          Exactly! You can't make a mistake if you don't move, but you also can't make progress if you don't move.

          And yes, truly seeking Christ and His desires will not just make things happen, but will change who we are and what our desires are.

          "But nseek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matt 6:33 - If we seek Him first, then what He is and who He is will change what we are and who we are. His kingdom and righteousness will be added to us, they will become our kingdom and our righteousness.
      • Paul A Rose Jr

        Paul A Rose Jr

        26 April 2012 at 07:38 |
        A similar sentiment... Have you ever tried turning the wheel of your car when it wasn't in motion? How can we get the direction right if we're just sitting there, fighting with the steering wheel?
  • Grete


    25 April 2012 at 16:43 |
    Great message, Justin.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      25 April 2012 at 17:47 |
      Thanks Grete!
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    25 April 2012 at 17:43 |
    Thanks Jason. I totally agree. I think that initial step is up to us, but after that, He's with us all the way.
  • Hayley


    25 April 2012 at 17:52 |
    Great post Justin! I had this discussion yesterday with friends as one of them is reading "Just Do Something" by Kevin DeYoung. He talks a lot about this idea. I think our generation is both paralyzed by options and robbed by comparison. We don't act until we have done enough upfront processing and rationalizing to either talk us out of something or postpone doing it.

    But the truth is, we have Christ in us. We can trust His power. Yes, there is something to be said for listening and waiting but we listen to the wrong voices and wait for signs that we decided we needed.

    Maybe I should take my own advice:)
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      25 April 2012 at 19:32 |
      Wow. Hayley. "I think our generation is both paralyzed by options and robbed by comparison." The absolute truth. Dead on. Thanks for your comment!
      • lauren


        26 April 2012 at 02:16 |
        wow--i agree! powerful statement.
    • Chris


      26 April 2012 at 20:32 |
      Agreed! Might steal that line from you.
      • Hayley


        26 April 2012 at 21:07 |
        Just put the check in the mail and its yours:)
  • Quinn Neely

    Quinn Neely

    25 April 2012 at 17:56 |
    Mate, you hit the nail on the head. I spent two years hanging out, snowboarding and waiting for some sort of direction in my life. It wasn't until I picked a direction and "stuck a pin through it" that He not only brought me closer to Him, but He has given me a clear vision for my future. Cliche but true- "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    25 April 2012 at 19:33 |
    Thanks Quinn. You're a perfect success story to this idea. Love to see that you 'stuck a pin through it'. You're clearly doing it. Awesome
  • Katie Hunt Sturm

    Katie Hunt Sturm

    25 April 2012 at 20:31 |
    Another awesome post, Justin. I think that so many o us have forgotten that the one who created us also created our deepest heart's desires and longs for us to dive into them. We keep being terrified that somehow God is going to judge our dreams and find them unworthy, so we get trapped waiting. I'm only just now beginning to see that God's greatest dream for my life is to see me walking and moving in freedom, pursuing those things that inspire and enliven me. I need to stop waiting on God and realize that God - and all of Creation - are waiting on me to take just one step...in any direction. :)
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      25 April 2012 at 20:37 |
      Thanks Katie! You got it. 100%. You need to stop waiting and see that God is waiting on you to take that first step! well done.
  • Gloria Rose

    Gloria Rose

    25 April 2012 at 21:24 |
    Great post and comments! My block has been that anytime I feel compelled to do something I always run across someone who is doing it better. "So, why do it?" I ask myself. I've had to learn that giving what I have to give requires not only courage and stepping out--but humility...willingness to suck at what I do...but do it anyway and hope to get better.
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    25 April 2012 at 21:33 |
    Thanks for your comment Gloria! Yes, it's tough because it does seem like creative people are doing important work anywhere. But you have to have that courage and humility. Thanks!
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    25 April 2012 at 21:50 |
    Thanks so much for your comments Larry!
  • Erin


    26 April 2012 at 01:11 |
    Another great post, Justin. Thank you for the reminder to just do something!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 01:13 |
      Thanks Erin
  • bill holston (@billholston)

    bill holston (@billholston)

    26 April 2012 at 01:39 |

    I love this thought. I thought you might enjoy this. It took me 20 years, but I finally was able to pursue my passion as vocation
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 03:41 |
      Thanks Bill! Love this article. I'm inspired.
  • Bethany Caddell

    Bethany Caddell

    26 April 2012 at 02:10 |
    From my experience God is in the business of providing oportunity and networking. When I have tried to make a plan work I know when He agrees because everything comes together perfectly. The right people get placed in my path and success happens. But it does take a step of faith and a decision sometimes to go against the norm to pursue your passion.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 03:41 |
      Thanks Bethany! Really appreciate your comments
  • Sarah


    26 April 2012 at 02:24 |
    Wow, so glad I stumbled across this. I agree 110% .

    I would add, though, that oftentimes (at least this has been true in my life), there is a "kindling" of sorts that is being built up in our lives through various experiences, relationships, etc. We may not understand what it all means at the time -- just like seeing only one piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle. But if we are open, we will have eyes to see when the Holy Spirit blows on this kindling and a flame begins to grow...

    But yes, we need to be a part of building that kindling. Even if we're not sure whether or not it will work, we need to try to build this fire with the resources God has placed around us. Some things may catch, while others may do nothing at all. Does this make sense?

    "No matter how lofty, unattainable, or idealistic, choose that one thing that keeps you up at night and stick a pin through it. Only then can the tidal wave of God’s glory and purpose flood your bedroom." That is what I've started to do. I have no idea where it will take me, but I plan on having the ride of my life!

    Thanks so much for this post.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 03:42 |
      Yes Sarah. 'The Kindling' Totally true. I wish I would have touched on that. Very very true.
  • Matt @ The Church of No People

    Matt @ The Church of No People

    26 April 2012 at 02:34 |
    Justin, so glad I found your blog. Great post. I think we often just sit and wait for God to speak, when He has already spoken. He told the prophet Micah that He's already told us what he requires of us - to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with him. There have been times when I've been tempted to pray, and in my guts I knew I was just procrastinating. God has told me what to do. He doesn't need to repeat himself.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 03:43 |
      Thanks Matt! He's most definitely already spoken.
  • Ebony Adedayo

    Ebony Adedayo

    26 April 2012 at 02:37 |
    I agree with you 100%. Sometimes I feel like we sit on our hands, waiting for God to speak and show us where to go because we do not want to do the wrong thing and fail. However, our fear of failure all too often paralyzes us from action. I believe that when we step out, and use the pins in our hand to prick the waterbed, as you explained, that God shows up and either blesses us as we move or redirects us. This is not to say that we wont fail, we probably will 100 times over. But there is something innately spiritual about failure, in it we find the grace of God in a way that we would have never otherwise discovered.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 03:44 |
      Yes Ebony. It's most definitely the fear of failure that keeps us back. You got it. Thank you!
  • Andrew


    26 April 2012 at 05:10 |
    God never "told me" what to do. He placed desires and passions within me and I feel free to pursue those. Luckily they have turned into a career.
  • Terri


    26 April 2012 at 05:17 |
    Does that mean all the waterbed really wanted was to be a lake?
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:42 |
      I think it does Terri! hahaha. Got a good laugh out of that.
  • Christan Perona

    Christan Perona

    26 April 2012 at 05:31 |
    Fabulous illustration.

    Each of us - even the youngest kids at age 5 or 8 or 11 - are fulfilling God's purpose for our lives. If He is sovereign, then He is redeeming our brokenness and using us to heal His world in everyday, ordinary experiences.

    Thanks for the invitation to go bold with it all.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:45 |
      Thanks Christan! Appreciate your comments.
  • Rhoda Moore

    Rhoda Moore

    26 April 2012 at 11:22 |
    Thanks Justin...just what I needed to hear! Sitting in a Scotland hotel ready to go for a big job interview as an art therapist.
    Think of you often!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:45 |
      Cheers Rhoda! Go for it! Hope you're well. I think of you often as well.
  • allison


    26 April 2012 at 12:43 |
    I found this on facebook. I agree with you although I wish the thoughts had been fleshed out more.

    Mostly I just wanted to point out that a lot of people think God has called them to "greatness" but they have their own idea of what that looks like. Greatness is an attitude, a way of life, not a specific vocation. Bussing tables, like your friend, if done with the right perspective, can be done for God and seen as a ministry. Anything, any place, can be looked at as a place God wants you to serve. Just wanted to say that, lest anyone think that bussing tables or something else on that level is "lesser." It's not.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:54 |
      I totally agree Allison. This was one of the reason I almost didn't post this blog in the first place.

      I felt the same as you did, that it wasn't fleshed out. There is so much more to add. I agree as well that no matter what you're doing, it's ministry.

      Reminds me of that Martin Luther King Jr Quote about the street sweeper:

      “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

      However, I went ahead and posted because in the end, it's a blog and not a book. 300 words means people will actually read it and I think that's valuable.

      Thanks for your great comment. - jz
    • Alandria Sims

      Alandria Sims

      20 March 2014 at 21:30 |
      I agree with you Allison. I also wish that people would stop waiting on a miracle. I spent most of my life waiting on a miracle from the Father before I realized that the miracle was that I could do something about my situation myself!! I prayed and prayed, cried and cried, waited and waited, and nothing ever happened. I realized that I was no different than the children of Israel under the instruction of Moses who wandered and wandered about the desert. They had already been given the blessing. But because the blessing didn't come in the wrapping they thought it would, they missed the boat, and the promised land was re-issued to the next generation. Whenever He blesses, He blesses. Whenever He doesn't, He doesn't. But He is still due all the glory and all the praise for who He is!
  • Homer


    26 April 2012 at 14:14 |
    Portlandia Christianese ='s "Stick A Pin Through It"
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:55 |
      Brilliant. Cheers Homer!
  • Andy Lara

    Andy Lara

    26 April 2012 at 14:17 |
    Super jazzed about this post. Simple, profound, and applicable. I watched that video a few days ago too. Nice pickup on that analogy. I've been thinking about it since I read it last night. Thanks Justin!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:55 |
      Thanks Andy! Appreciate it man. Hope you're well
  • Hugh McDevitt

    Hugh McDevitt

    26 April 2012 at 17:47 |
    I think I needed to see this post. I've been working in the same job for 30 years and feel like it is time to leave and do something I'm passionate about, but I'm afraid to leave because of the financial security.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:56 |
      Thanks Hugh. Seems like you're at the right spot to take some action. Let's stay in touch, love to talk through it with you if you like.
    • elizabeth


      14 August 2013 at 18:51 |
      in a similar position as you Brother Hug. been trying to move to a new job since 3 years. no job interview i have attended so far has resulted in a job offer.

      wondering where God is leading me
  • GuestDD


    26 April 2012 at 18:35 |
    Great article, Justin. We are in our 50's and still figuring this out! Glad your generation is so much wiser. :-)
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 20:56 |
      Thanks! appreciate it.
  • Chris


    26 April 2012 at 19:54 |
    As you know too many people in churches spend too much time asking, wondering, fretting over their "purpose". People in the bible didn't spend alot of time, if any, on this. If God had something for them to do he would tell them pretty specifically and in person. He didn't show up to everyone personally to tell them. For moses he did then the 10 commandments were for everyone as a group. Jesus in the new testament gave us a list of things to do. Feed to homeless, help the sick, visit the widows, love one another. For some reason we don't see these as a high enough calling. Being soneone's friend, serving your wife or husband and family, why aren't these purposes people deem worthy and to be happy fulfilling? Everyone can't be billy graham. Some are preachers, teachers, etc. Some are artists and musicians and some are husbands and wives serving and loving their families.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      26 April 2012 at 21:01 |
      Thanks for your comments Chris. I totally agree.

      I think it's difficult for people nowadays because we have access like never before to amazing ideas, vocations, visions, and dreams. TED talks are a great example. Technology alone expands our worldview and makes people want information more and more and more.

      Centuries ago, one's entire world would have been in maybe 50 square miles?

      So the trick now is finding purpose & meaning but also being content and satisfied with being a great friend, wife or husband. Thanks!
  • Beverly Rogers

    Beverly Rogers

    26 April 2012 at 20:43 |
    I LOVE THIS! Blackaby says to watch for where God is at work and join him. My friend Colette once said that too many of us are waiting for a calling that we feel is "worthy" of us; when the thing God is calling us to is "to offer a cold cup of water". I say pick up your pin and do something!
  • Tsa


    27 April 2012 at 20:23 |
    agree with you more! I will bookmark this and keep an eye on updates. Im sure all of us readers appreciate your efforts as much as me!
  • Chad Jones

    Chad Jones

    28 April 2012 at 22:10 |
    This? This was awesome!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      02 September 2013 at 18:54 |
      Thanks for reading Chad!
  • Craig


    30 September 2012 at 00:18 |
    Thanks Justin! I think God got tired of me waiting on Him so He lead me to this page!! Now all I need is the courage to make my move. And maybe that means giving up a few things that matter to me. The 'familiar' can be 'comfortable' - but sometimes that's ONLY because it's familiar'. [If that makes sense!] Maybe God wants me to move beyond the 'familiar' so I can learn to appreciate the fact that HE is always with me. Hmm... I don't know. But maybe. [Not sure that made sense - but there you go!] :o)
  • Arlen Miller

    Arlen Miller

    02 September 2013 at 18:06 |
    I felt it, Justin. This line: "No matter how lofty, unattainable, or idealistic, choose that one thing that keeps you up at night and stick a pin through it. Only then can the tidal wave of God’s glory and purpose flood your bedroom." I felt the exhilaration after reading this. Lovin' it! Keep doing. Keep writing. The tidal wave part of the quote thrilled the endorphins. :)
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      02 September 2013 at 18:27 |
      Thanks for reading! Glad the endorphins are liking it!
  • david


    18 March 2017 at 10:40 |
    Heres some great advice;Keep doing the last thing God told you to do until otherwise and if you havent started anything yet ask Him t tell you to do anything He wants you to. Have faith He will always tell you.
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