“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s the hallmark question of childhood. We ask wide-eyed little kids, expecting answers like “pilot,” “astronaut” or “firefighter.” It’s not a bad question, but when it’s the only one we ask, kids end up believing their identity belongs to their occupation.
The real question we should be leading our children to consider is not what, but who do you want to become? The difference is subtle, but extremely significant.
And so it is for us too. It's important for you to consider if the work you do defines who you are; or, if the person you are defines how you behave in the various roles of your life.
I'm sure you have weighed, many times over, how you spend your time in "work" - whether as a professional, stay-at-home mom, or volunteer. But have you ever truly considered what kind of person you would like to become?
The Good Book says, “Without a vision, the people perish.” I submit to you that perhaps the biggest reason why so many of us, our families and our children seem to have lost our way is that we, as a culture and as individuals, have lost sight of the vision of the lives we want to lead.
The question, “Who is it you want to be?” can be a daunting one - especially as we age and feel, perhaps, as if it is too late to change; to reach for something better; to not just apologize for - but correct the damage caused by our short-comings.
So how in the world can you come up with a vision that is both worthy and realistic?
It isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In his book, See You at the House, Bob Benson writes,
…if God can take a tiny seed and, in the process of giving it his life, endow it with a knowledge of what it is supposed to be; if he can give it the purpose and strength and fruitfulness to not only accomplish it all, but to perpetuate itself as well; and if he can give it an inner calendar to tell it when all of this is supposed to be done, why is it so hard to believe he has done the same for our hearts?
God made you, uniquely, in His image. That means you were designed to show and tell the world something specific and wonderful about His character. And you are made to do it in a way no one else can. God wants you to be aware of the purpose He has for you. But this exercise isn't about deciding who we will be and then expecting God to help us get there. It’s about prayerfully considering who God made us to be, and the attitude and action we should adopt in order to make His vision for our lives our own.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey wrote,