Ira Hayes, Arlington National CemetaryHave you ever wanted to be successful?  Have you ever dreamed about it?  I know I have.  In fact, I think our culture is drunk on success – or more accurately, drunk on the accoutrements of success – the power, prestige, toys, glory, and responsibility.

But I wonder if we ever take the time to understand what success is.  Do we take the time to decide (or learn) what is success or do we just go off chasing what other people tell us is success?  This is where one simple question can guide us.  A question we’ve heard much of our lives.  A question that started even before preschool.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Yes, that’s it.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is the question that can help us define success.

I remember when I was younger (much younger) the answer was “fireman” or “policeman” or “astronaut.”  But that’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about something deeper.  I’m talking about asking yourself this question at a deeper level.

If we’ll let it, this question can become “What kind of person do you want to be when you grow up?” or “How do you want to be remembered?”  as well as “What do you want to leave behind?” These questions can help us define the courses of our lives.

What kind of person?

This is a fundamental question that’s more important than money, power, or fame.  This requires that we spend the time to figure out what qualities are the most important to us.  That we understand who we want to be before we try to define what we want to do.

I’ve spent a little time on this and I have a few answers.  Of course I need to spend more time in prayer and thought before I consider this matter closed.  But here are a few things that I want to be fully formed in my life:

  • Knows God
  • A man of integrity
  • Honest
  • Faithful
  • Courageous
  • Steadfast
  • Intentional

How about you?  Have you spent any time understanding what’s most important to you?

What do I want to leave behind?

Once we’ve answered the question of what kind of person we want to be, we can then start looking at legacy.  What we want to leave behind.  About the impact we hope our life will have on the world.

I don’t know about you, but I sure want to change the world.  While I don’t know that I’ll ever be involved in some popular wide-scale movement for some trendy cause, I am already involved in the single biggest world-changing movement.  I want to help bring the Kingdom of God to earth.  And I want to do it in some specific ways.

Some people want to leave behind buildings.  Some people want to see their name in the news.  Some people want to leave behind only a trail of consumption.  That’s not what I want.

  • I want for my child(ren) to know God and to follow him
  • I want for my child(ren)’s child(ren) to know God and follow him – this is a big one for me
  • I want for my community to be transformed by the power of God
  • I want to take every opportunity to live in a way that glorifies God and shows him to those around me

This question isn’t as fully answered yet.  And I still most certainly struggle to actually live up to what I already understand.  I struggle with pride and seeking my own glory and will rather than that of Almighty God.  But I also believe that God has put these desires in me.  So I trust him to work all this out.

How about you?

Have you answered these questions for yourself?
What were your answers?

Photo by: Tony the Misfit

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!