When I Grow Up, I Want To….

Just thinking….

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Have you seen him?   That bright eyed little boy, jumping up and down with excitement, shouting unequivocally that he is going to a cowboy when he grows up, rootin’, tootin’ fastest one in the West.

Have you seen her?  She’s the shy one who wants to take care of boys and girls in the hospital, but for now she works on her Barbies.

Pretty common for kids to muse their futures and make declarations of what they want to be, what they want to do, where they want to go.  Rarely do we ever hear declarations like these:

  1.  When I grow up I want to be homeless.
  2.   When I am an adult, I want to be bankrupt and lose my house and car.  Maybe even my family.
  3.   My goal in life is to be unstable and go through as many relationships as possible. I want to be divorced.  I want to be bitter.
  4.   I can see myself being a school drop out (or kicked out) and losing a lot of  low-pay jobs.
  5.   What I really want in life is to be addicted to drugs…. alcohol…. tobacco…. gambling… sex.
  6.   My dream is to be an unmarried teen parent.   That will be cool.
  7.   I’m hoping to be in trouble with the law, maybe just little things at first, but I’ll work up to the big things.  My goal is prison.
  8. To me, growing up means I can be disrespectful to my parents and grandparents,  my teachers, and the law.  Then I can blame them for everything!!
  9. Getting a sexually transmitted disease….. or developing lung/mouth cancer from smoking…. or maybe having a baby that has fetal problems from my alcohol and drug use…… yeah, that’s what I want for my future.
  10.   When I grow up, I want to be self-centered .  Who needs friends or family?
  11.   My vision for the future is to  mess up really big and then give up, and then kill myself.

Right.   Most kids just don’t see any of these as their future self.  And yet……

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Yet it happens.   That cute little boy who just wants to be a fireman ends up to be number 5 on the list.   That precious girl who wants to be a ballerina and a mama becomes number 6.  That junior high kid who is anxious to be in high school becomes number 4.   That promising high school student looking forward to college  ends up as number 3….. or number 11.    It wasn’t what they intended.   But it’s where they landed.

For whatever reason, they don’t see that every single choice they make today affects tomorrow.   Call it immaturity.  Call it lack of self control.  Lack of vision.   Lack of education.  Lack of church. Lack of discipline.

There’s a huge disconnect between dreams and reality.   Probably not a new problem.  But what do we do about the dream train derailing?

Dreams shatter.   They go unfulfilled.  They fade away.   I had a dream of my home being filled with lots of children.  For reasons beyond my control, it never happened.  But some dreams are within our grasp…. and yet we lose our grip.

Some dreams require so much work that they seem impossible.   I wanted to be a teacher; I had dreamed of it for years.  But the reality is that I had no money and wasn’t the brightest one in my class.  Yet with guts and sweat, I made that dream come true.

Here’s how Langston Hughes put it:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

So very very sad.  Our children are our treasure.   This next generation is a promise.  I want that little cowboy and nurse and fireman and ballerina to see that their future is possible.  I want them to dream BIG, and pursue excellence, and enjoy life to the fullest.  I want them to know that even if they make mistakes that destroy some dreams…. that God forgives and restores  and renews.

O Father!  Give us wisdom to make right choices.   Give us compassion for those who are in trouble.  Give us what we need to make a difference.  Give us understanding and motivation to make the world a better place for our children.  Give us strength and boldness to pursue our dreams for Your glory.

To God Be The Glory…..

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Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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