I recently met the fiance of one of my friends. In our conversation, he asked me many questions in his attempt to get to know me and start building a friendship. I appreciated the effort he was putting in as most people stop after the “What do you do?” question. Not him, he was asking question after question and whatever I would answer would lead him into further questions. He paid so much attention, that one conversation allowed me to see that my dear friend had chosen well, she had chosen a life partner who didn’t just say that he loves Jesus and he cares about people, his actions and words backed that up. He is a listener which is so rare.
He then asked me a question I was not expecting and one I hadn’t been asked in years so there was no rehearsed answer in my head, I just said what came to mind first. He asked, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?”. My answer surprised me about 5 seconds after I’d said it and could process what I had just said. My response was, “In 10 years time I’d like to have made a substantial contribution to the Kingdom of God in the area of Children and Youth ministry. In 10 years time, I’d like to know that I have positively influenced a considerable amount of young people and showed them who Jesus is and how much He loves them. That’s my biggest goal for the next 10 years, make an impact for God”.
He was surprised by my answer and to tell the truth, so was I. I realized that I never mentioned any of the expected answers. I never spoke about wanting to be married, having children, earning a certain salary or owning a specific property. Those are things I want yes, but they’re not on the top of my list. Jesus is.
It was and still is an influential moment for me, that question highlighted something within me and continues to spur me on. The Bible says in Matthew 15:18 that the things that come out of our mouths, come from our hearts, so believe me when I say that my answer surprised me but encouraged me at the same time. It also made me seem a bit weird, why couldn’t I just give the expected answer, the ‘normal’ answer? I think if I had been given some prep time, I probably would have gone with the expected answer. But I’m learning that God doesn’t want me to live the expected life, nor have me do the expected things. Instead He is leading me on an unexpected path where He displays His power continuously. In the unexpected path, I can’t plan too far ahead, I can’t work out my responses and speeches all I can do is follow His lead, work at what is before me and wait for what I know is yet to be accomplished.
I recently made a joke when given something to do without full explanation of my task that “Noah got specific plans, Moses knew what He had to do and Joseph was told what to do and when to do it. I can’t just be told to do things without a full explanation of what exactly I need to do and how”. Jesus clearly still has a lot of work to do in me 😉 Even in that joke I heard the ignorance in what I was saying because faith is activated in the unknown. We rely more on God when our normal devices are not there and we cannot rely on our own talents or head knowledge. I am a to do list kind of person, I like knowing specifics, in order for me to do a great job in my own eyes, I need to always know exactly what is required of me. But sometimes, most of the time, all God wants me to do is be available. Available to be filled up and emptied out where needed. He gives me pieces of the story and lets me lean on Him as we walk through and discover the rest.
It’s like an adventure where no one day is the same as the one before if I really listen and pay attention to what He wants me to learn in that day. I have by no means figured it all out but it’s really a great journey to be apart of.
So today, I’m going to remind myself again before I allow frustration or complacency to creep up; to listen, to pay attention and to wait for what it is God needs me to learn as well as what He needs me to do in this day.