I’m sure there has been a time in almost every child’s life where an adult has asked them what he or she would like to be once they grow up. Usually, there are a variety of answers including firefighter, football player, ballerina, veterinarian, doctor, etc. There were several times when I told my mom that I wanted to be a boy with green hair when I grew up (I attribute this to having three brothers and and odd love for the color green). As a (legal) adult, I still hear this question all the time.
Since graduating college, I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs and thinking a lot about my future and what I want to do and who I want to be. When the subject comes up, I can’t help but think of this quote:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
I really don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. I think this is kind of scary considering I just graduated college. All I know for now is that I want to be happy.
When I moved after my graduation, I started attending a different kind of church. I grew up going to Catholic services, which I still attend from time to time. However, my boyfriend is the worship leader for a local church, so I began attending that church. Last weekend, the pastor had a fantastic message that really helped me deal with not being able to find a job. He made two very good points:
- The first point he made was about reaching a goal or destination in life. He compared this to reaching for a bottle of shampoo while in the shower by standing on the shower bench and reaching over the top. He said that while this might be the right goal, this is the wrong way to go about reaching it. There is a different way to reach the goal (bottle of shampoo). By opening the door (figuratively and literally), the goal (shampoo) can be reached. The moral of this story is that even if you can’t reach a goal one way, God might open another door so that you can reach the goal another way.
- The second point that the pastor made was regarding being blessed. He said that being blessed comes from the inside, not the outside. Just because you don’t have nice possessions or a great job doesn’t mean God isn’t blessing you. God is good. God is in control, regardless of your situation. God blesses you with His joy. He makes deposits of joy into your heart. Our job is to share the joy, not to give it away. It is important to guard your heart so that others don’t take your joy from you.
Now, how do these points apply to what I want to be when I grow up? Well, first of all, I want to be happy in all aspects of my life (social, family, financial, work), regardless of what I am doing. Second, I will remember that there are generally multiple paths to get to the same end solution. Just because one way isn’t working, doesn’t mean that the goal isn’t possible. Finally, I will remember the joy that is in my heart, and I will guard it.
Be happy, find another way, and guard your joy.