“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
What was your response to this question when you were little? Let’s just say 4 years old.
I know I wanted to be a veterinarian, doctor, dancer, a teacher, an author, a gymnast, a cashier, a designer and a waitress.
If someone would have asked 4-year-old you, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”
What would you have said?
If someone were to ask you that same question now, what would you answer?
We always focused on the “what”, not necessarily the “who.”
But that’s always been the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Not, “who do you want to be when you grow up?”
I believe we never grow out of either question...but here’s the difference:
“What” puts the emphasis on a title, role and position.
“Who” puts the emphasis on who you are as a person - your character - and who you’re becoming.
We never grow out of becoming.
That’s something we’ll always do.
We should always ask ourselves, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”
I hope my answer now would be “like Jesus,”encompassing the fruits of the spirit.
Someone of love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I have a long, long way to go…
Everyday we’re becoming...it’s up to us who.
Let's say there was some way to time travel and be two places at once…
And 4-year-old you got to meet current-day you.
Are you who you thought you’d be?
Would 4-year-old you run up and hug your knees and look up at current-day you beaming with pride and excitement of who you are?
Or, would 4-year-old you peak out from the doorway and stand with a bit of hesitance unfamiliar with who you are now?
Maybe you’re different than you thought you’d be. Maybe you’re more than you thought you’d be.
Maybe not, but you’re not done yet.
Taking it all back...Before everything happened, before you were taught to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, before the world kept asking and emphasizing the “what” instead of the “who...”
Think about if you could share some wisdom with little you, what would you say to advise the road between 4-year-old you and current-day you? And, vice versa, what advice would 4-year-old you give to current day you?
We’re called to be like little children.
The innocence, the purity, the joy, the hope, the undivided presence, the excitement, the awe, the enchantment at the little things as much as the big things...whatever the good was then...let’s remember those things and hold onto that spirit.
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3
The “who” matters way more than the “what.”
All of these perspectives and foresight are just reminders to sift through this life and hold on to what matters and let the rest go. I don’t think we give little ones enough credit for recognizing the things that matter.
The “what” of our lives may stack our resumes and our bank accounts for a number of years, but the “who” will decide our forever.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
“You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis
I think we have a whole lot to learn from our 4-year-old selves, fresh from our Heavenly Father’s arms…
You’ve got a whole lot of your life left, let’s start right here…
Make 4-year-old you proud of who you are and who you’re becoming.