Where are you headed?
“I’m going to the store.” “I’m off to work.” “We’re leaving on vacation!” “I’m working on my degree.”
In the small and medium-sized events of life, we can usually quickly say where we’re headed.
In the bigger picture of our lives, though, we’re often less sure. The goal seems fuzzy. And life is a conveyor belt that keeps on moving, regardless of whether we know where we’re headed. Maybe it’s just about having a good life in each stage along the way? Or being as kind as possible? Or being the best person I can be?
Meanwhile your life is busy or you’re bored. You have lots of problems or you’re in control. And by the way, what’s the latest tech gadget or internet meme? “And I’m supposed to know where I’m headed in the big picture?”
Jesus shared with his disciples the big picture idea he has for us: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG). A few sentences before that Jesus tells us that he calls each of us individually to follow him into such a life—by our own names, in his own voice (10:3-5). And he’s not just talking about heaven. It includes life here and now.
But it sounds kind of unreal, doesn’t it? “An amazing life in which I’m that special to the King of kings? Yeah, right.”
“You don’t understand: today I’ve got errands to run, work to do, people to please. And, oh yeah, in addition to checking off all those boxes, my kid is dealing with a drug problem, my income isn’t matching my expenses, and my spouse seems distant. Where am I headed? God only knows.”
Yes, God does know. And his Son is saying that he knows you in particular, and invites you by name to follow him into an amazing life.
One of the men who heard Jesus give that invitation—Peter—later wrote that each one of us is a gifted person who is designed to display God’s variegated grace in our own amazing way (1 Peter 4:10). He also wrote that God allows a variety of trials in our lives to help us grow into such a life (1 Peter 1:3-7).
It sounds like God has a plan, and that it’s heading toward you becoming the amazing and gifted you that he created you to be. A wise plan that involves exactly the trials you’ll need to grow into the Christlike unique you.
To get through today’s trials, we often just put our heads down, press our noses to the grindstone, and focus on survival. What if you were to see today’s trial—each day’s trials—as specifically designed to help grow you into tomorrow’s you? As you learned to trust this wisdom and grace from God, you’d be heading in the direction of becoming the gifted you he designed, moving into the amazing life Jesus offers you. And that would bring glory to God through Christ.