“What are you going to be when you grow up?”
“You are going to make a great ____(fill in the blank) someday.”
We’ve been hearing those questions/statements since we could barely talk. There’s pressure from a very young age in our society to decide what our lives will look like, even though our brains haven’t fully developed.
Even within the faith community, we receive this kind of pressure. Missionaries and preachers come to speak at our churches, they pull our heart and guilt strings, and suddenly we think that anything less than vocational ministry must be short-changing God and holding back His Kingdom here on earth.
Then when adulthood happens and we aren’t all of those “things” that people said we should be, we feel like failures. We feel “less than” and wonder why we are the only ones who can’t get it together.
I recently sat down for dinner with a group of college students who were there to learn good dinner etiquette for their future employment. Some of them knew what they wanted to do with their education, some did not. But it brought me back to my days as a young college student. When I was 18, I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but God had better plans.
And so I shared with them a little of my God journey and let them know that what they want for their life is nothing compared to what God has in mind.
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See, you can make all the plans and preparations you want for the future. You can get degrees, training, and mentors. You can take classes and poll friends and family members. But when it all comes down to it, you don’t control the future. God does. Nothing you do will give you your desired outcome unless God allows it.
You and I don’t call the shots. God does. As followers of God, we don’t get to tell God what we are going to be when we grow up. He tells us. But He doesn’t tell us the whole plan all at once. We couldn’t handle it if He did.
What God does do is reveal His plan for our lives step-by-step. He says, “Go straight here.” And we go straight. He says, “Turn left at the next corner.” and we do it. And then He reveals the next step, and the next, and the next until He calls us home. Life is not about some destination, or some picture perfect ideal of what life should look like. Life is about an unfolding of God’s plan for your life, no matter what that looks like.
Think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She had plans to marry Joseph and live a nice quiet life in the suburbs of Nazareth. She had no idea what God had planned for her. She would’ve never imagined that she would get to be the mother of the Messiah, and then watch Him die. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but if you ask Mary about it someday, she will say that her plan for her own life did not compare to the life God gave her.
I told more than one student at that dinner, that if anyone would’ve told me 25 years ago that I would be doing what I do, I wouldn’t have believed them. Nothing compares to God’s plan for my life. And now I am filled with excitement for what He has planned for the next 25 years and beyond.
So as you look at your life and career, can you see the fingerprints of God’s plan? Or is it all smudged up with your own fingerprints?
Are you living your plan for your life or allowing God to give you His? His is better you know. In fact, nothing compares to it!
What about you?
Whose life are you living?
Share your experience of finding God’s will for your life.