Growth Chart: Adulting Edition
In a world with so many options, how does one know when they’ve reached their path? Every year older, every change of course however small I make in life I find myself asking this question again. I consider it a sort of “check in” with God, humbly asking, “did I miss anything, Lord?” “Is this where I am suppose to be?” I wonder if this is specific to me, or if others around me are actively doing the same thing? I am aware of the belief I held for most of my growing-up years that at some point after college this sense of arrival would settle on me and I would simply know that I was right where I should be. It’s not to say that I am experiencing a lack of peace in my life currently, because frankly, I love my jobs (2), and my outreach opportunities, but I am also aware that I have never felt that sense of “arrival” I so expected to find. I’m 32, surely that would have hit by now, which makes me wonder if that’s simply not going to be the way of it for me?
Maybe when arrival settles on you that’s also an indication that life is comfortable and you aren’t really looking for challenges anymore. If there is one thing I know for sure that I do want, it’s a desire to have eyes opened to the places in my life that need work and an ability to see the needs of those around that could use my help. I say this from a thought of little because I think it can be dangerous to have aspirations to forge great change, what is that even? If I could stay humble enough to look for the little things that I can effect every day, those little things will add up in a big way. So often when I think about making big strides, big changes, those are also the areas that I do the least amount of work in. That big goal of mine just becomes an overwhelming presence in my life and I end of pushing it off for later instead of tackling it head on. Wasn’t it Creighton Abrams who said, “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time?” The answer is yes, it was Creighton Abrams, who apparently was a US Army general during the Vietnam War, who would have ever known that without the wonders of Google!? Go impress a stranger with that knowledge today! :D
It’s so easy to look around and see all the successes of others, compare your life with theirs before you even think about what you’re doing, and before you’ve taken your next breath, discouragement has settled in. There is a challenge that exists in this life to take what you are given and turn it into something that not only benefits you, but also benefits others around you. The cool thing is, that’s actually what God designed us to do, each in our own individual way and according to the talents He gave us. Since it’s a concept created by God himself and given to us, we can always know it’s the right thing to pursue. Finding what we are gifted in, growing those skills and using that talent to change the lives of those around us in positive ways. Somewhere in that equation is the secret to a life driven by purpose and not simply the pursuit of things… can I get money, fame, own my own tropical island dream inserted here. Because having, in and of itself, doesn’t equal contentment, no matter what it is you think is the ultimate “thing” to have. Knowing your creator on a personal level (relationship), understanding He created you with unique gifts that only you can give to this world (passion), and learning how to give those to others in love, with hope and humility (purpose), THAT’S what it’s all about.
The Bible talks about the concept of growing what the Master has given you in Matthew 25:14-30, where three servants are given an amount of money, interestingly enough called talents, and expected to grow what was given to them. All three had different sums entrusted to them. The first two servants went out and doubled their money. The third servant was worried that he might lose money if he tried to expand the sum, so he hid the money until his master returned. Upon returning the master wanted to know the outcome and called for a report from all three servants. The first two proudly brought the increase of what was trusted to them to the master and he was very pleased. He commended them and asked them each to be partners with him from that moment forward. When the third servant proudly explained how he had hidden the talents away to be sure nothing was risked, the master was so displeased he gave those talents to the other men and cast the last servant from his house.
If that isn’t a clear explanation of what we are to do with the gifts God has given us, I don’t know what is. Trust, talk to God about it and if there is peace, take the risk. Find the challenges in your daily life that can stretch you as a person and grow those talents that God has given specifically to you.
Here’s another great one, just to send you out on an awesome quote high note…
“There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”