We all face transitions in life. In my first post, Three signs that you’re entering a new chapter in your life, I discussed the sudden call; those times when God prompts you to do something extraordinary–something that might seem foolish to others.
Sudden calls are unusual, however. More often, we experience an increasing level of discontent in what we are doing. My second post in this series discussed how Healthy discontent may signal the start of a new chapter in your life.
In this post, I suggest a third sign that may suggest you’re about to enter a new chapter in your life: an unexpected and unquenchable interest.
Most of the time we accumulate knowledge about an area rather slowly. And we add new areas of interest slowly too. But every so often we might stumble upon something that causes us to take special notice. It piques our interest, so we explore it further and before we know it, we’re captivated.
When my daughter was first learning to write, she struggled with reversing words and letters. As a concerned mom, Anna researched as much as she could about our daughter’s challenges, writing friends and following up on every lead she received. Several friends pointed her to a field of complimentary health care that provided effective help to our daughter’s learning challenges.
Having found the solution, most of us would move on with the other activities in our lives. Anna’s pursuit, however, deeply affected her. She was unexpectedly and unquenchably captivated by the complementary health care field.
A new chapter in Anna’s life was being written. Night after night she spent hours researching and learning everything she could. She began attending conferences and gained certifications in multiple approaches. Shortly thereafter she began applying what she learned—first me, then family, then friends. Now she operates a highly successful practice seeing hundreds of clients a year.
I had a front row seat to observe her new chapter unfold and learned three things from it:
- Think unconventionally. When an idea captivates you in this way, resist the temptation to fit it into your conventional way of thinking. As a stay-at-home mother and homeschooler, Anna didn’t have time to pursue another degree. But she didn’t let a conventional way of thinking keep her from turning her newfound passion into a business. Never has there been a greater variety of ways in which an idea can come to life. Ask yourself, “Is the reason I’m thinking this can’t be done really true?”
- Engage differently. In novels new chapters often introduce new characters to advance the story. So it is in life as well. When an unquenchable interest arises, pursuing new relationships can accelerate your learning and keep you from making costly mistakes. Attending workshops, conferences, online discussion groups or meet-ups are great ways to meet people with the same interests.
- Derivate immediately. Any new skill or knowledge is greatly reinforced by immediate application. Begin by taking notes from what you read or people you interact with. Summarize what you’ve learned to friends and family. Put on a mini-workshop. Or build a prototype. Or draw a concept. Anything that causes you to create a derivative of what you’ve learned will greatly accelerate your learning and may open the door to your own unique way of embracing your passion.
You never know when a latent interest might come alive. When it does, embrace it. It could be the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
What other ways have you found to embrace an unquenchable interest?
I am so glad I happened upon this series. I have been trying to figure out how to process this constant tug at my spirit that it’s time to move into greater. I’ve been in the healthy discontent and unquenchable interest stages for quite some time now. I know it’sounds time to heed the call, but as a father and husband, I find it difficult to move without everything being in place. But in my spirit, I keep feeling like I need to make a move and trust God to provide the rest afterwards.You mentioned it…move, but to do what exactly? It’s frightening. My wife is completely in agreement that we need to follow the call. We do marriage ministry, although it’s on a small scale, and definitely not a source of income. She believes being obedient to the call will open many doors. The call involves moving to an entirely different state!! I dream about it it regularly. It’s on my mind all the time. I can’t shake it. So I appreciate the articles. These are good starting points for me. If you can remember, pray for us as we pursue the “greater” God is calling us to.
My unquenchable interest in starting an international christian school was not normal to me.Suddenly,i found myself doing all i could to make this a reality.For the first time,i found myself having a burning desire to go into christian ministry to do with education.Almost every day,i did something about it.I applied everything i learned.Everything else became secondary.I talked about it with my wife everyday.Prayer about it became an obsession including involving others.Taking notes about is now usual to me.This is how i came about your teaching: Three Signs that you are entering a new chapter in your life.God is real.Nicholas,Kenya.
Wow I believe your article has been God sent ..Bless you for puttinging it here on the web..
It’s a long story 😊..but through reading this article it has made me “ think” .God had a plan and a purpose for us all . Which I believe doesn’t always( although it can I know praise God) happen overnight but in stages ..
Many years ago there was a seed planted in my heart ..and only now ( after now reading this article will I persue
God led me to this article I have no doubt. I have been content for quite a while then all of a sudden boom! I am possibly being led to move to another state and start again. The anxiety and unsettledness is overwhelming at times, I feel as if I no longer belong where I currently live, so I am making small steps to seek out The Lord. I will be visiting the area in question soon to pray more and see what the spirit does… It’s as if I am being called away…
Thank you so much! My husband and I are away this week to seek the Lord for the “next steps” for our lives and for ministry. I have been in ministry all my life over seas and stateside. Just got married 10 years ago and I have been taking care of my mother for 5-6 years. She just passed away right before Covid hit. I miss her terribly but now I feel the Lord say to “move forward”… So finding your article while on our retreat is a Godsend. Thank you and please pray for us!