What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ask a child that question and they come alive with possibilities: fireman, doctor, athlete, perhaps President of the United States. I wanted to be an air-traffic controller.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ask an adult that question and you’re likely to get a different reaction. Silence. Confusion. Perhaps resignation that those days of dreaming are behind them.

As adults we’re supposed to have The Question figured out. Get a dozen or so years of work under your belt and you should be well on your way down that career path. The Question can be intimidating if you don’t know the answer. It can stir up shame, failure and regret.

So most of us go silent. We pretend The Question doesn’t exist. Or to salvage self-respect we convince ourselves that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing–knowing that response is more out of duty than desire.

But what if The Question isn’t supposed to be answered, at least definitively? What if, instead, The Question is merely to keep us open to possibility? What if the purpose of The Question is just to stir our imaginations the way it does a child’s?

Could it be that in our angst to answer The Question (or our arrogance that we already have) that we shut ourselves off a greater adventure that God might like to show us? Could it be that by ignoring The Question we’ve really stopped growing altogether?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

4 thoughts on “What do you want to be when you grow up?

  1. I never want to grow up. But I do love the job I have now. I am satisfied where I am right now and I still feel young. I don’t think the grown up thing is for everyone.

  2. I’ve always been a creative person – a singer since I was three years old singing in church, writing songs and singing in a folk trio during my college years, and loving being a stay at home mom until my kids were school age. After working at their school for awhile, I began to work as an admin for several years. My singing was sidelined to church choir, and my creative juices were somewhat suppressed. After losing my job in 2008, I have worked contract jobs, and am looking for permanent work. Even though I would love to sing more, I’m not sure God is calling me to do that full-time. My husband is working two jobs right now, and I want to bring in a substantial salary so he can quit his part-time job. So how do you balance your passion with the needs of daily living? I have friends that want me to use my musical gifts and start a business. I agree I should use my gifts, but to what extent?

    • Those are great questions Sue. I won’t pretend to have the answers to the tension you are seeking to reconcile with the Lord. Your friend’s counsel may be helpful provided you and your husband have a tolerance for the risk associated with it. Having helped a number of people to start businesses, I can tell you that it can be a very effective way to create harmony with your need for income and to exercise your gifting, especially with so many internet accessible options. Alternatively, there may be a number of employment opportunities where your talents can be utilized and developed. I’d be happy to speak with you privately to kick around a few ideas, if you’d find that helpful. Just reach out to me through my contact page. Have a happy 4th and thanks for commenting on my post.

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