One of the most difficult parts of your twenties will be trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing with your life. You will be reminded of that fact on a regular basis, especially when you are at a family function. It seems like once you graduate college, or seem like you’re at the age when school work should be over, people expect you to have everything figured out.
The fact of the matter is, most of the people who are asking you if you know what you’re doing or where you’re going in your life, are still trying to figure out what they’re doing with theirs. They want to pretend like they have it all figured out, but trust me, they don’t.
Please be wise in who you allow to speak into your life about your direction. You can listen to what they have to share, but they aren’t living your life. They might even be trying to live life through you. DOn’t get disappointed in yourself or doubt you’re doing things right because someone feels like you should be doing something different. Follow God’s lead and trust His direction.
In fact, can I encourage you with something, you don’t need to rush your future. Yes, it is important to have plans and goals, but you can take your time to rest in your current position. You might not be happy where you are right now, but where you are right now, is just as important as where you want to be in the future.
Many of you have a feeling like you could do something more in your lives. You look to the future and cannot wait until you reach a certain milestone, be it graduating college, owning your own business, or, even retirement. You are marching forward with the end goal in mind. Yet, you might miss something great God is trying to reveal to you, right now, in the very place you don’t want to be!
When I first entered youth ministry, I can remember hearing people say things like: “Just wait until you become a senior pastor!” or “How long do you plan on being in youth ministry?” or “Youth ministry is great, but will you start your own church someday?” What?! I mean, don’t get me wrong; if God called me to start my own church or become a lead pastor of a church somewhere, I would do it, but if I focused on what could have been, then I would miss the great things going on right in front of me as a youth pastor.
Our dreams for the future can become a distraction to our present.
As Christ led His disciples, He helped them come to grips with the idea that tomorrow is never promised, so they should focus on what is important. Jesus shared, “‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’” (Matthew 6:33-34; ESV)
King David even wrote about worrying about the future in the Psalms, encouraging the reader to trust in the Lord because He looks after the innocent and guides our steps (Psalm 37:18-19, 23-24). David’s son, Solomon, followed in his father’s teachings when he wrote in Proverbs 27:1:
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
Solomon knew that all of humanity has the tendency to focus on tomorrow. He wanted to encourage the reader of the Proverb to rest in today. Tomorrow is never promised. Yes, you can plan, but you don’t know what the day will bring. Don’t live in anxiety about what will come, but live in your day for God’s glory, as if tomorrow isn’t coming.
You see, our anxiety of what will happen later can wear us out. It can cause us to lose focus on what is important. God is doing great things in front of us and in us now, so if we allow ourselves to be consumed by the future, we can potentially miss the value of the present. Your present life matters significantly to God.
If you clamor for the future and ignore the present, you might disrupt your path going forward. People need you to live your life fully now, where you are, and who you are, for the fame of the One who put you here. Find joy in where you are and live in the present and, perhaps, the future will be influenced by the way you live today.
Portions of this are excerpts from my book, MADE FOR MORE: A Journey of Discovery and Purpose.