The fact is that in today’s world, regardless of how well or poorly they themselves planned, everyone over twenty makes sure that everyone under twenty has planned for the future.
So… maybe I exaggerated a little. All joking aside, I’ve heard the same question more times than I ever would have guessed, all within the space of four years. Yes, I’m talking about the college question. Most likely, if you’re over the age of twelve, you will get pummeled with one question incessantly from every direction: What will you do for college?
The first time I heard those foreign words was when I was about twelve years old, sitting in a restaurant with my mom, dad, and siblings. The friendly waitress chatted with us as she cleared a few emptied dishes from the table, asking about our family. When she found out how old I was, she
whirled on turned to me with double-barrels. She began asking me questions for which I had never prepared before. What would I study in college? I didn’t know. What sort of things was I interested in? Well, I really liked to write. Oh, she liked to write, too, and she even entered this contest once for television… the conversation turned from college and the future, leaving me to draw deep breaths of relief. But from then on, the questions about higher education plagued me at every corner.
Well, why do we worry about the future so much? While searching for quotes about “steps” I found one that pretty much sums it up. Talking about courage (itself a completely different discussion), actor Andrew Shue says:
Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest…
For those who don’t believe in the intelligent God who created and directs the universe, Mr. Shue’s quote is spot-on and terrifying. If we miss our “one shot,” our lives have failed. To some extent that might be true; we do need to live our lives well. Yet should we be so anxious?
Recently I learned that the answer is no. Look at Luke 12:22-31. God has a plan, and though He wants us to carefully consider how to serve Him on earth, He doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow!
Now I’m sixteen years old, in eleventh grade, and my parents and I have settled on what we believe to be the right course, so to speak. Maybe some people think that’s early, and maybe others think it’s late. Either way, I know what God wants me to do for the next two years (give or take). Yet now I find myself wondering what questions will come next. Will you move out soon? What comes after college? When are you getting married?
I also find that I don’t worry about it. In fact, I’m amazed at how peaceful I feel about the future. For months I had prayed that God would just tell me what He wanted me to do after graduating, and to be honest I was quite worried about never “figuring out” the right choice. Then, when I gave it all over to Him, to my immense relief (and surprise as well) God came right out and told me what He wanted me to do by speaking through the advice of my parents and putting the answer on my own heart. That’s why I don’t worry. If God showed me this step, what stops Him from showing me the next steps when I need to take them?
So what makes you worry? What questions keep asking themselves over and over, demanding that you figure it out right now? Here’s a better question: why don’t you ask God for the answer? If He made everything, planned everything, and knows everything, He should be the One we turn to first of all- and He is always listening. Try it. Put your future in God’s hands. Even if you don’t get your answer right away, even if you aren’t completely sure yet, the peace that comes is amazing.