A New Answer to an Old Question
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We are often asked this question when we are young, and we respond with something dreamlike, and usually impossible. We are asked again when we get a bit older, and probably respond differently with a slightly more “mature” answer than “ballerina astronaut”. But then we become young adults, and we begin asking ourselves the same question… what do we really want to be when we grow up? And we often become riddled with anxiety if we cannot come up with a good enough job title or career path to live up to the hopes and dreams of what we always wanted to be. Or, we convince ourselves to settle on a realistic, safe answer as to save ourselves from disappointment. And there lies our identity, our worth; this is our life.
But I think we often misuse the word “be” when we really mean “do.” We pick some job title or career path for ourselves and say “this is who I want to be” and think we’ve answered the question, and that defines who we are. But what we want to do and who we want to be are two entirely different things.
Thus, I recently took time to envision the woman that I desire to be. To be completely honest, it was overwhelming, and somewhat discouraging as I reflected on who I am right now. I am nowhere near close, nor will I ever arrive here by all my best efforts. Who could? But nevertheless, I put it in writing. It’s lofty, idealized, distant… but why would we pray for what we could do on our own? Why would we settle for what is realistic when we serve a God who does not abide by the laws of nature?
So I share this as a way to redefine the answer to the old question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It is to serve as a reminder and a benchmark to reflect on each day as we grow to be a little more like Christ than the day before through prayer, consecration, and sanctification.
“I pray I will be a woman who is marked by humility, selflessness, and service; someone who is not concerned with self or matters of this world; who understands what is truly valuable, willing to give up fleeting hobbies and interests for deeper, divine passions placed within her; whose worth is not defined by the way her body looks or a number on the scale; who is not plagued with the need to control but trusts in God’s provision; who readily accepts interruptions as divine appointments and counts it a great joy to be inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel; who is ready to go the moment He calls her, without hesitation or the urge to look back at what she may be leaving behind; who desires communing with the Father more than her own comfort; who does small things with great love, no task too insignificant to perform with full devotion; no selfish ambition, but a pure desire to see God’s name alone glorified; whose will is completely conformed to that of her Father’s, and no morning too early, night too late, day too long to say yes to an opportunity to carry it out; no person too different, too hard to love, too unimportant to count greater than oneself; who opens her door to the unlovable, outcast, downtrodden; a woman who is supremely confident in the giftings and calling which God has placed on her life, and content with the ones He has not; who is fully content in her work, regardless of title or recognition; whose highest calling is to serve the ones whom God has entrusted to her care; a woman whom God would see fit to raise His own Son, with a heart as pure as his daughter Mary; a woman who inspires others without uttering a single word, whose character is high above any trace of reproach; her joy remaining steadfast through each passing day, her smile only growing sweeter with age; a woman whose life is long, but legacy far longer; who is fully resolved to living a life without reservation until her soul finds eternal rest at the feet of her Savior.”
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
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