As we get older, the question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is tough.There comes a point when you’ve been there and may or may not have something to show for it.
When I was younger, the first career I picked when I had to report on it in second grade was a horse trainer. I loved horses, drew horses, read books on horses–and yet we never had the finances to take riding lessons. A true dream, though short-lived.
My next aspiration was to become a journalist. I discovered I enjoyed writing–poetry and short stories, many of them quite macabre. My imagination was a little over the top, so I thought reporting on wars or tragedies around the world would fit my skill set well.
My mother shot that one down. She insisted I go into teaching when I went to college, and being a spineless young woman who was fairly obedient, I did that. Secondary education majoring in English.
If I couldn’t write the wild and wonderful, maybe I could teach others to do that.
I got the only teaching job I applied for; some may call that fortuitous, but I saw it as an opportunity to get to know what I really wanted to do.
It wasn’t teaching.
I loved the students, and some of the subjects were fun, but making young people learn things they didn’t want to learn wasn’t something I was good at. Too much of a people-pleaser to do the job well.
I wanted to return after that first year and apologize to all the students I’d taught. I wasn’t horrible–there were parts I was really good at. But teaching wasn’t what I was meant to do.
What it showed me, though, was I enjoyed interacting with others, talking to young people about life matters and showing respect–hopefully–to those who don’t always feel respected.
Teaching made me realize the need to learn to listen.
After a year of teaching, my husband and I decided to go into ministry. Sharing God’s truth with others.
Offering the hope of eternal life.
When my children began to think through what they wanted to be, I backed off from opinions. I let them decide what they believed they wanted to do. Could do. I gave encouragement where I could, but they made choices.
None of them have truly followed what they went to school for.
They are, however, doing what they’re passionate about.
Understanding who we are is more than what we do. What we think we’re good at.
We’ve been wonderfully made by a God who loves us and sees us as more than the sum total of our production. He’s made us with gifts and talents that can accomplish many different occupations if we recognize that we are more than what we do.
We are who He has made us to be. People of worth and value in His eyes.
So when five-year-old Brooklyn dresses six-month-old Nolan as a chef and declares he’ll be the world’s best baker, it could be real.
We find our passion when we discover that Someone is passionate about us. His character and gifts shape who we are.
In ways we can become excited about.
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