I was recently talking to a good friend of mine who is in college. During our conversation, we started talking about what he wanted to do in the future. I asked him the question that everyone gets asked plenty of times throughout their lives.
“What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Maybe you were asked the first time in First Grade when you drew a picture of what you wanted to be (Astronaut, Fireman, etc.). Maybe the next time was sometime in Middle School when you started trying to decide what types of classes to take in High School. Then I’m sure you were asked in High School so many times it became frustrating as you were taking classes! Then deciding what college to go to, or even if you were going to college at all.
If you went to (or are in) college, you have to go through choosing a major and attempting to decide right then what you want to do. Then I’m guessing your family and friends kept asking you until you got your first real job. Then you think it’s over…but it’s not! Your boss should continue to build you into a better employee and continue to ask you that same question…“What do you want to do when you grow up?”
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If you are like me, you are sick and tired of this question and having to come up with an answer. I always felt like “I don’t know” was NOT an acceptable answer. But then I spoke with an individual who I trusted and has been extremely successful in the industry I am in.
He made me think differently about it. Here’s what he told me.
“Charles, if you sat here and told me exactly what you were going to do or be in 10 years I’d tell you that you had no idea what you were talking about. There is no way for you to know what you want to be when you grow up. You just have to keep making decisions of where you want to go next” (paraphrased for posting)
What he ended up telling me is that he had no idea 10 years ago that he would even have the option of sitting in the chair he was in. But an opportunity presented itself because he decided to do one thing. Which led to another opportunity, which led to another, and on and on until he was sitting there talking to me! He didn’t know the end goal and tried to work towards it. He just kept following his heart and working hard, and it led him there.
If you have ever seen the animated PIXAR movie Finding Nemo, the Blue Tang fish named Dori has a straightforward slogan…”Just Keep Swimming.” The suggestion by my superior is very similar to this.
The point here is simple.
Don’t ask the question, “what is God’s plan for my life” Just keep following God one step at a time, and each one of those steps will lead you to where He wants you to go.
God knows that we are not smart enough to handle knowing everything from the beginning. We would 100% find a way to mess it up. So, in His infinite wisdom, He gives it to us in steps and guides us there.
If you have gone to the church at all, there is a high probability you have heard the verse,
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
But very rarely does anyone share the verse that comes immediately before that,
Jeremiah 29:10: “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”
Yes! God knows the plan He has for you, but it may be a while before you get it or even know what it is. Earlier in Jeremiah 29, God gives them steps to take in advance of those 70 years. Helping them step-by-step to get to the finish line.
What steps is God giving you to take today? This week? This year? Instead of thinking about what you want to do when you grow up, focus on the next step, not on the finish line. The celebration happens at the finish line because you personally had to fight through every single one of the steps to get there. They all have a purpose, and without even one of them, you would come up short. Just keep making steps… Just keep swimming!