Short Story: What do you want to be?

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For the past year, I have been thinking a lot about my purpose in life and read some books about God’s plans and purpose for us. I even started a book club studying “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. Halfway through this book study, I realised that I got the wrong concept of God’s purpose for my life. I wish that I had been aware or been taught about this truth when I was young. I imagined what my teacher would say, and what I would say to my students. It resulted in me writing this short story.

I hope you will like it! Please also share your own answers to the question ‘What do you want to be?’ in the comments!

“What do you want to be?” Ms Lee asked the class. There was silence. “What do you want to be?” she asked again.

Brandon raised his hand slowly.

“Yes, Brandon?”

“Do you mean, what do we want to be, when we grow up?” he asked.

“No, not when you grow up. What do you want to be right now?” Ms Lee replied. The students were silent again.

Ms Lee continued, “Who says we need to grow up to be what we want to be? Did you know that God had plans for your life before you were even born? He has a purpose for every one of us. The thing is, only God knows how long we will live. So what we are now matters more than what we will be when we grow up because none of us know how much time we will have on earth. Some of us may not grow up. Some of us may not be here next year, or next month, next week or tomorrow. Our time is limited, and we don’t know when our time is up. We don’t have time to wait until we grow up to be who or what we want to be. Be – now!”

“How do we know what God’s plans for us are, though?” Hillary asked.

“God’s plans for us are very clear; it is the path that is unclear. But if we listen to him and obey him, acknowledge him in everything that we do, he will make our paths straight.”

“I don’t understand. What are his plans for me? He never told me!” Peter asked.

“God plans for us to spend eternity with him in heaven because he loves us. It is very clear in the Bible. God has prepared a place for all of us there. But how we get there is up to us. That all depends on who we are now and what we do with our time here on earth. When I asked you, ‘What do you want to be?’ What were some of the words you thought of when I said that? What image did you have in your mind? A policeman? A teacher? A doctor?”

“A singer!” Anna exclaimed.

“An architect!” Justin added excitedly.

“A YouTuber!” Michael shouted.

“What if I told you, God is not concerned about what kind of job or career you have? What he cares most is what kind of a person you are; what your character is like; whether you love your neighbor.”

“But I’ve never even talked to my neighbor!” Peter cried.

“Your neighbor is not just the person who lives next door to you. Your neighbor is everyone in your community, the people you see and interact with every day, in the street, in school, in the mall; even people you don’t like. God wants us to love everyone in our lives, just like Jesus did. And that is God’s ultimate plan and purpose for us – to love God and love others. So, you see, it doesn’t matter whether you are a doctor, a singer, a YouTuber or even a janitor. You can love God and love others in any job or career and God will reward you abundantly. So, I ask you once again: What do you want to be?”

“I want to be kind and helpful,” Maria said.

“Loving and caring,” said Haley.

“I want to be brave and courageous,” Brandon said.

“Understanding and a good listener,” Hillary said.

“Generous and humble,” Anna added.

“That’s wonderful! Now, let’s get started!” said Ms Lee.

…To be continued…


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