Children like to pretend and dream about what they want to be when they grow up. Many children choose exciting things like being a professional athlete, being a princess, or being a firefighter. They pick dreams and goals that not only seem exciting but seem heroic or seem to be about bettering the common good of society. As they age their priorities begin to change. While they still want exciting careers, usually they move to more practical identities; such as an engineer, a doctor, a teacher, or a computer programer. They pick careers that will help them earn money but will also be fun and enjoyable to spend their time at. In order to achieve these careers children, or at this point young adults, start preparing themselves though education and outside experiences. They train, they take classes, they get with other mentors, all in an effort to make sure their career choice becomes a success. All in an effort to make sure that they accomplish their dreams in life and become all that they can be.
While lots of energy is spent helping children, and young adults, and sometimes even older adults, choose career options, or re-choose career options, that same effort is not always recognized in other areas of life. For instance, how often do we as individuals think through what type of life we really want to have, what goal we hope to accomplish in life, what meaning will our life fulfill. So many people simply live life one day at a time with tunnel vision, making decisions based on what is best for today, how can I make myself happy today. Little effort or thought is placed into where do I want to be in 5 years or 10 years or 50 years. Or better yet, what do I want to accomplish in 5 years or 10 years or 50 years. Many people have career goals, but this is about something bigger than career goals, this is about life goals, what do you want to accomplish in life? What meaning will your life have?
Often, when they near death, individuals begin thinking back over their lives and begin questioning “what was the purpose of my life?” While this is a natural question it is really the wrong time to ask it. This question does not need to be asked at death, but during the main years of life. Now is the time to decide what you want to accomplish. Now is the time to give your life a goal, to give your life a meaning. And then once you have your goal in mind, life life in such a way that you accomplish that goal.
Donald Miller describes it this way. He says to imagine if someone was making a movie out of your life what would you want the ending to be? What would be the perfect ending of the movie? Once you figure out what that ending would be for your life, for your movie, for your story, then make decisions each day to help accomplish that ending. Make sure that the way you are living life now helps to accomplish that fairy tale ending.
Life is a story. It is a story that God is writing but we get to be apart of. While there are many different possibilities for how your story could go, you only get one story. Make sure you are living your story in a way that you get to the happy ending. There may be pitfalls and detours along the way, but make sure you ultimately reach your happily ever after. You accomplish that in part by figuring out on some level what you want your ending to be and then living life now in a way to make it a reality. Make sure your ending is something that both you and God will be proud of.