What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?


This past week we celebrated our Granddaughter’s 8th grade graduation. Part of the ceremony included some Q&A time with the graduates. One question was, “What do you want to do someday?” There were many answers (our Becky chose to candidly say she didn’t know) and the students showed passion and enthusiasm at the prospect of being done with school someday and on to a career.

The question brought back a lot of memories for me. In my ninth grade year we had to write an “Occupational Notebook.” I had big plans. I was going to be a lawyer, living in Phoenix, AZ and driving a Jaguar XKE. No plans to be married or owning a house. Just a cool penthouse pad for this attorney.

What’s amazing is that none of that happened. God had a different plan for me. I’ve been in publishing for 30 years, I’ve written several books and ghostwritten many more. I’ve published, marketed, worked book and national retail and not gone to law school, or owned that Jag. I’ve been married 45 years, have a wonderful family and, own a home.

The point is God’s plan and what He wanted me to be was far better than anything I dreamed about in the ninth grade. His plans were not my plans, and I’m 100% certain that His plan offered much more than I could have ever imagined.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Isn’t this a remarkable promise? Whatever and wherever we may be, God has a plan and, when we take the step to trust Him, it’s a plan to give us a future and a hope!

Ed Young wrote about this verse, “God has spectacular plans for our lives that we can’t even fathom. But fear—the opposite of faith—will tell you to believe in a small God, to dream smaller dreams, to accept the status quo and live a life on the sidelines.”[1]

My ninth grade assignment seemed big at the time, but candidly, it was a small dream to what God had in store for me. My young dream was predictable and safe based on what I could see. Faith changed all of that. In faith, I’ve trusted God to give me my future and my hope. I’ve seen and been a part of some incredible, life-changing moments for myself, and thankfully, for other people.

What about you? What do you want to be when you grow up? Safe and predictable? Or, with faith secure in Jesus, a spectacular plan with some incredible promises—a future and a hope rooted in Him.



[1] Ed Young, Outrageous, Contagious Joy: Five Big Questions to Help You Discover One Great Life, (New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, published by the Penguin Group, 2007), e-Book edition


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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