Many ask, "How do I find the right path for me?" This is especially true for young adults who are wondering how to spend their lives while following Christ. What is the right job, should I get married, or even should I go to a monastery.
Elder Paisios has much to say on this subject. His first advice to those who are young is to finish their studies. He says, "First they have to concentrate on their degree; then on getting a job." He adds that if one's direction in life is not yet clear then they should continue with their studies and "Later on, pursue what has matured within them and brings them peace."
God has given mankind a free will. He will never take this away from us. He allows each of us to follow a path that is unique and that will bring each one peace. God will not force us. So how do we help those seeking advice about what to do with their lives? Elder paisios says,
"The parents, the Spiritual Fathers and teachers ought to help the young to select a vocation in line with their capabilities and to follow their natural inclination, without influencing them or strangling that inclination."The path must be one that each person chooses for himself. We can observe the unique gifts God has given a person and encourage them to use these gifts. But we can only express our opinions and then help them achieve what they have chosen themselves. Elder Paisios clearly advises, "The decision about which life they will follow has to be their own."
What we can do in assisting them is to remove from their path what is harmful and what may destroy their inner peace encouraging living always in harmony with God, with the joy of being close to Him. Our main concern should be about their salvation and not their career.
If you trust in Christ and follow His commandments you have nothing to fear. Life is never a straight path but one that we are continually seeking clues for the next steps.
Remember always what Elder Paisios says, "Consider what puts you more at peace and choose that."
Reference: Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Councils IV: Family Life, pp 22-28