What are you going to do when you grow up?

Folks young and old wonder about that. Authors and bloggers write countless words offering counsel on finding your place in the world, and some of the counsel is really wise.

What about you? Have you figured it out yet – what you’re going to do?

I sat across the table from an old friend here recently. He’s almost 50, I’m not…I’m over. He asked me if I knew what I was going to do when I grew up as though hoping I, too, was still searching. We laughed, feeling like we were still open to change yet holding on to the perception that growing up is overrated. As I drove home from lunch I reflected on the question and the many folks in my life that are asking it.

There is plenty of wisdom available to us on the matter. Wisdom may not make answering the question any easier but it points us to deeper questions that bring clarity and make decision making a bit more objective.

The question is, of course, centered on the word do.  What are you going to do It translates, most often, to the career path. It’s an important question but it’s not the main question. It’s the side dish that goes with the steak. The steak is the featured item on your plate – the asparagus is the side. What are you going to do when you grow up is asparagus.

Who are you – that’s the steak.

But asparagus is important. We need to know what we are going to do and be working towards growing in that direction all the more. But it’s still asparagus.

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet (Buechner) is a favorite quote of mine . Success leaves clues is another.

So what clues has your life been leaving?

Some years ago a friend of mine challenged me to have 4-5 people write me a letter. These folks, innermost circle relationships, were given plenty of latitude in how they chose to write out their answers but each was asked would respond to these questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What am I not good at?
  • Where is there confusion in my life?

The answers were incredibly helpful to me. Their voices brought perspective. It helped me understand how they saw me versus how I wanted to be seen. It helped me see giftings and it helped me see some gaps. Turns out I’m actually good at a few things and, well, not so good a few others.

Solomon wisely penned these words, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”   (Proverbs 15:22)

Wish I could help make the question easier but, perhaps there’s freedom for us today in knowing that who we become is the higher call, the deeper question and the clarifying “why”.

How are you coming along in your quest to both BE and DO? Got some thought to share with the group? Please do.

May our deep gladness meet the world’s deep hunger.

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