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 | By Tim Ryan

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

Ohmigosh, Am I a Grown-Up?

My friends and I were sitting around the other night talking about college and careers. Almost everyone has been applying to different colleges already. They were talking about engineering, architecture, nursing, cooking, etc. But, I didn’t saying anything – I got scared because I’m not sure what I want to do! I haven’t been thinking about the future, I’ve just been having fun in high school. Now, all of a sudden, I’m supposed to be making decisions that are going to affect the rest of my life. I’m not sure what I’m really good at. I kind of like writing, but everyone tells me that it’s tough to make a living at it and I need to be more practical. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t think I’m ready for this!

The expert says: Author Peter Senge writes about a concept called personal mastery (Fifth Discipline Fieldbook). This is the process of developing a personal vision. But, it’s not as easy as picking a vision in one day and then chasing it. A personal vision may take a while to develop.

Having a vision doesn’t necessarily mean that we know exactly what’s going to happen or where we’re going in life. It may be fuzzy at first, but it provides us with a sense of direction that automatically guides our thoughts and actions to help us gradually refine the vision. The challenge is to constantly develop a mindset that opens us to the vision so we can act accordingly.

Although Senge doesn’t write about spiritual matters, I think the process he is describing is the same as prayer.

Prayer is how we become what God needs us to be. Prayer is not about trying to influence God’s actions; it’s about recognizing God’s actions in our lives and how we need to respond.

Just as personal mastery is a gradual process, seeking God’s purpose is gradual and rooted in prayer. We don’t pray just once and expect it to happen tomorrow; prayer is a continual process of drawing ourselves closer and closer to God’s vision for our lives.

Jesus taught us to be persistent in prayer: “Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find ...” (Luke 11:8-11)

How do I know what God wants me to do?

• God does have a plan for you.

• Pray, pray, pray.

• Let go of what this world says will make you happy.

• Seek the wisdom necessary to follow God’s plan, and you shall find it.

• Be patient; God will reveal each step in the plan when you are ready.