“I don’t know what I want to do and I don’t know how to figure it out," he said with a sigh.
After watching our waitress make some of the best guacamole we’ve ever had, my husband and two of our boys got into a discussion about careers. Our last son is about to enter high school. It’s hard to believe my “baby”, who is already taller than me, is four short years away from being an adult. It’s harder to hear his confusion as to what path his life should take, especially when I’m just learning what my own “life purpose” is. How much easier would it be if we could have our life experience before we have to decide what we want to do with our life?
He expressed his thoughts, talked about what he likes and doesn’t like to do, and even realizes that what he enjoys doing is more of a hobby than something able to sustain him through life and possibly having a family. He’s seen the struggle his parents have had and the limitations of not having college degrees and thankfully he understands the need to obtain one (not to mention that his parents have told him he absolutely NEEDS to get one. – Sadly, it doesn’t matter what that degree is in, you need it to get your foot in the door almost anywhere nowadays). He’s taken the personality tests and the class telling him his strengths and weaknesses and yet, he’s still at a loss. We’ve joked that he should become a chiropractor or a mechanic, for selfish reasons of course, and we’ve shared in his frustration of being at a loss.
This isn’t a decision we can make for him. Sure, we can guide him; but ultimately he has to choose or he won’t be fulfilled and happy and that’s all we want for him. He's gotten the “You can choose any job but you absolutely must live “within the means” of that job lecture all the boys have heard – if you make $10.00 an hour then you have to be ok with having a $10/hr car and a $10/hr apartment/house because you’ll get in a lot of trouble and deal with a lot of stress if you’re making $10/hr and spending like you make $20. We told him that if he’s a good person, if he’s helping others, if he’s living with God’s purpose for his life as the center, a $10/hr life is absolutely fine with us because ultimately, that’s all that will matter when this life is over and we pass on to the next….did we live our life having a positive effect on our world and those around us, did we show others God’s love by how we treated them, did we recognize it’s not about the paycheck it’s about the people?
We also told him to be realistic because things do cost money…a lot of money sometimes - but the money can’t be his motivation. A full bank account and “stuff” won’t, in fact CAN’T, take the place of family and friends or the memories made with them.
So we left the restaurant believing we gave no real answer to his question. We only told him that we suggest he do what we do in reference to his future…pray about it, a lot; because the sooner he figures out God’s purpose for his life, the sooner he’ll find peace with the decisions he makes and that's when I realized, that suggestion is the best answer we could have given.