Who do you want to become?

I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. Psalm 57:2

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’ll bet you have asked that question of children numerous times. At what age do you remember first being asked that question? Do you recall some of your early answers? At the root of the question is an even more important life-purpose question – “who do you want to become?” From childhood on, that question can intrigue, inspire, infatuate or infuriate us our entire lives.

Why do we find ourselves, like hiking some circuitous looping trail, repeatedly stumbling back upon that same probing question? For one thing most of us in our unguarded moments would admit we still feel like eternal kids or teenagers in our heart of hearts. There is a sense we have when confronted with our own vulnerability or weaknesses or failures that we really have not progressed as far in life as we had imagined; and in fact may be stuck in a kind emotional adolescence still groping with questions of that sort.

I had a friend, a diminutive woman with the boldness of a lion, who was a social worker in a men’s residential treatment center. She made it her practice to stand toe to toe with new residents, and while staring up at them and pointing her forefinger at their chest. She would ask, “How old are you? I mean really, not chronologically, but inside, how old are you?” And she told me in her many years working there nearly every man gave the same essential answer. They all admitted to still being teenagers.

“Who do I want to become?” Why do we keep coming back to that question? Probably the most salient reason is that it is all too easy to repeatedly get side-tracked by seemingly urgent and persistent questions such as “What do I want to get done?” The pressure of getting things done often preempts and causes us to disregard the more important focus of pursuing who we want to become.

Who do you want to become? Read More »

Putting Life in Perspective

I don’t know how many times I have heard people marvel at how they got to where they are, relating how one thing led to another and they “just ended up” in a given life’s work, irrespective of some intentional concerted effort on their part. As a result it can be difficult, even in looking back, to connect the dots and discover some over arching theme that ties everything together.

This verse offers a hopeful perspective in terms of ascribing meaning and purpose to the seemingly haphazard unfolding of our lives. It conveys that there is a creator God, personally interested and actively engaged in arranging the pieces of our lives into a masterful work of art. The Greek word translated as masterpiece here is poiema (poy’-ay-mah) from which we get our English word poem.

What this verse says in effect is that God takes everyone who has entered into a faith relationship with Him through His Son Christ Jesus and crafts an artistic composition from the experiences of their lives. Because of each person’s uniqueness that poiema composition and its resultant message can be as diverse as any creative form, be it poetry, prose, music or the visual arts.

What then is the poiema of your life? What sense have you made of your meaning and purpose? Ironically our own poiemas are not always readily discernible because we are too close to them. It is like trying to see the forest for the trees. Usually it requires an outside perspective and help from God to fully comprehend, accept and appreciate our poiema.

Sometimes we want to make something of our life that is different from what God is intending to make of it. When our poiema is different than Gods we can become frustrated and discouraged because things are not turning out the way we planned. That is why we need a revelation of God’s poiema. Poiemas are more caught than taught. When we finally see it, sometimes we need to wrestle with it for a while to come to a point of yielding our poiema to His and finding a place of acceptance, appreciation and full cooperation with His poiema.

I can fully identify with the poiema struggles of which I write. Although many unregenerate dreams and plans I had as a young man went by the wayside when God intervened in my life, the ensuing years left me at times wondering what if. What if I had pursued such and such a job or moved to such and such a place? You know how that scenario goes, it leads to a poiema crisis and prescription for internal strife and confusion.

Putting Life in Perspective Read More »

Scroll to Top