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What am I going to be when I grow up?

March 6, 2017


I am a work in progress.  I asked this question “What am I going to be when I grow up?” when I was little.  I asked this question in college.  I asked this question as I retired.  This is the Lent season of the liturgical calendar– a time to fast.  I am fasting from all the ideas that at this time are not possibilities.  Our church is doing a study led by Keri Olson called “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well- lived, Joyful life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.


The other day it was snowy and foggy.  You often couldn’t see right in front of the car let alone what was ahead.  Even in retirement I still have more ideas of what I want to do than hours in a day or weeks in a month to do them all.  This is a time to look at all the ideas, catalog them and then figure out what to do first.  Maybe it will or won’t work but I have an additional list to go to for the next try.

Success doesn’t come from things being easy.  Success doesn’t come from everything going my way.  Success may even mean that some things I have to fail or things have to be set aside.


Can you see where you are going?  When I was a pastor, I had a calendar that often wasn’t followed.  People would ask “Why?”.  I said, “Because I have a door and a phone and a family.”  People needs often come before other tasks.  There are things that are timely and need to be done on time.  There are things that need to be done but there isn’t a strict time table.  Wisdom is knowing the difference, living in the tension and giving yourself, people and tasks grace and time.


Can you see into your future?  Can you see where you are going?  They say “hindsight is 20-20” but you can’t drive forward looking in the rearview mirror.  One has to trust that the road you picked will take you to your destination or at least close enough to find it.  We live out in the country.  The GPS isn’t right for our address.  It places our house on the top of the hill instead of going down a hair-pin turn and going to be by the lake.  Yet when you tell people this, they can still easily find us.  You don’t need exact directions to find out where you are going.  You need to be heading in the general direction and know what you are looking for.

One never knows where there are dangers buried in your path.  Sometimes there are signs to warn you.  Sometimes you have to find out for yourself.


There are times while living in Chicago land, it seemed that you needed to know where you were ending up turn by turn just so you knew what lane to get onto on the Dan Ryan when you started.  When the traffic is heavy there can be trouble in changing lanes.  One time I was down town and on the same trip I was making every week.  I get onto Ohio and had to fight and hold my breath to get across from right to left of 4 lanes in the span across the river.  I needed to take the first left off the bridge.  This day there were absolutely NO cars on the road.  I almost stopped and backed up (not a wise thing to do even if there weren’t any cars behind me).  I wondered if I didn’t get the memo that the road was closed.

Lent is 40 days of traveling – not to the end of a destination but to work on ways of traveling the path.  There are times you travel alone and sometimes fight for things in the midst of crowds that don’t even know you are there.  There are times you have no trouble and there are times you are left in tears and frustration. Life is a journey and every once in a while, one needs to see where you are to know where you are going.  Take time to sit still and look ahead.  Take time to trust the journey.  Take time to be.





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