When I Grow Up…

Graduation season is over, but this post caught my eye. I do enjoy when people ask about my dreams and plans. The mere fact that work with children for a living creates a sense of puzzlement in many, which is an endless source of enjoyment for me!

Piggy-backing off of graduation season, the question most often asked to graduate candidates is, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” I cannot tell you how many confused, pitying looks I received when I gleefully replied, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life teaching children about Jesus!” After many pats on my head and good-luck-with-that responses, my purpose became even more clear. So I ask the question: what about you? What will you be when you grow up?

Yes, yes, many of us are adults with entrenched lives and little to no free time, but when has that ever stopped any– wait. I have noticed that as people grow older, they tend to lose that child-like spark of creativity and imagination that makes dreaming possible. Jesus came to, “give life to the fullest.” (John 10:10) Now, I do not believe this means that Jesus will hand us the cushy, cozy life full of everything that we think we want… that generally just leads to complacency and laziness. Rather, He came to take away the sin that blocks the true us so that we may pursue Him to whatever purpose He put in our hearts to do! (Ephesians 2:10)

Consider the parable of the talents for a moment. Two men doubled their money, but one sheepishly hid his portion in order to make sure he didn’t lose any. Now, we have in this line-up two daring entrepreneurs and one gentleman who is scared of his own shadow. To be Christian does not mean to be weak or timid or an overly-cautious person. (Although being overly-cautious in security for your children is something we take very seriously.) To be Christian means to have a sense of the Romance of life, the old definition of “adventure” not the “chick-flicky” connotation. (See G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy for more details.) Life with Jesus is an adventure! Jesus Himself was not the over-cautious, mild-mannered, tame teacher that we seem to personify in modern times. He was a daring, brave, straight-shootin, no-nonsense kind of man, who was gentle with those who were hurting!

I write this to say, do you know what your child’s dreams are? Are the activities you allow your kids to do helping them to achieve those dreams, or are you needlessly filling up your child’s schedule? What about your own dreams? What passions or goals has God put inside your heart?
When you get to heaven, how do you want to look? Do you want to appear as if life had been comfortable, easy and unfulfilling, or would you rather fellow citizens at the gates see a person who lived fully, loved completely, and dared to be the man or woman God is calling you to be? How would you like your kids to look? These questions are not unrelated. Your attitude about life will be your child’s. How can you change your attitude even now? What would be keeping you from changing it?

“All men die, but few men truly live.” – Mel Gibson as William Wallace, Braveheart

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