It is a wonderful question! Too bad I don’t seem to have an answer.
One of the advantages of some life experience is being able to look back. Not for the reasons many people do–regret, remembering loss or injury, wishing things could go back to what they were. We all do that sometimes. Some of us do it most times. My reason for looking back is to marvel at the quality of the thrill ride that we call life.
Just when we think we have a bead on things, we feel the bottom drop away like a roller coaster plunging downhill. That is the way life is for me anyway. One of the problems with that is I’ve always been the one sitting on the park bench waving at the family members doing “the up and down and all around”. We don’t have that choice when we aren’t at the amusement park and it’s life that is caring us along.
I have always admired folks who chose a profession or calling and then pursue it for their entire careers. Not sure if it is luck, fate, wise planning, passion or you name it but there’s some real comfort in knowing what you want to be and then actually being that person. However, the surprise of unwrapping each new day is very exciting. I like it despite the flaws that I encounter. Most of those flaws are mine anyway…..
So I’m back to the question of what do I want to be when I grow up! The dilemma is NOT from the desire to be forever young or trying to recapture the “flower-power” past, I have no desire to re-live the experiences back there. I just feel an openness to experience whatever the next bend in the road is.
I have a calm sense of confidence that was very hard to achieve and has really helped to make the ups and downs easier. I have a deep feeling of gratitude for this awesome ride that life is.
I took a quiz to help identify the gifts I have a while back. I can’t say that the results were surprising. I could see what others see in me pretty clearly. The idea that hit home for me most starkly is the “gift”. We don’t choose the gifts that we receive. Gifts are freely given or they tend not to be gifts at all. Like tools in the toolbox, it helps to know what you have to work with, but it’s exciting to combine and re-combine the items so as to use them in new ways.
When we do this, wonderful things happen. It is the way we serve God and the world.
Life wouldn’t be better if I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up–just different. Because our gifts are not all the same, we need each other for the best outcome. I need the folks that have always known and pursued their call. They need the roller coaster riders like me. None of us can do it all alone–we have to take all the gifts and combine them for the best outcome.
Thanks be to God!