Life in the 21st century is hard. Meet Grant (no, not the guy in the picture). Grant is a 25 year-old millennial. Six years ago, he turned away from an engineering career to follow his heart and work with children. Now after two years of teaching in a public school district, he’s struggling hard to find joy in his job, and the pay is not great. He’s looking to the years ahead and scratching his head a bit.
Yes, that’s me I’m talking about. Maybe my story is not that different than yours.
Millennials like us often face a difficult dilemma. You can either take a soul-squelching but realistic job, or you can follow your dreams and end up broke. You can have a frustrating but profitable job, or you can have a fulfilling but unstable one. Should we really have to choose? Isn’t there a better way? Wouldn’t it be better if the world just hurried up and found out how awesome I am and just handed me the job of my dreams?
Now a certain spoofed and respoofed Lincoln commercial comes to mind. To get some perspective, sometimes you have to go back to move forward. Waaaaaaay back, like 3,000 years ago.
We need to look at the biblical accounts of the lives of Moses and Joseph. I won’t go into detail as much in this post, but for the purposes of overview, they both were raised with dreams. As young men, they encountered struggles and resistance, like us millennials today. Later in life, they became successful and helped a lot of people. What did they have in common?
Time. There was a definite wait period between their dreams and fulfilling their destiny, and that’s what my generation misses so often. Randall Worley said, “What’s happening in us while we wait is more important than what we are waiting on.” We are ignoring the fact that we are incomplete, cracked vessels. Why would God give an imperfect vessel a perfect job? The only way for imperfect vessels to be refined is by being chipped away at and molded by imperfect circumstances.
A millennial’s college degree is not what prepares him for his destiny. It’s the entry ticket to the dance. It’s the timecard to punch to enter the real training. It is a gym membership, and you only get out of it what you put into it.
I have dreams of serving children. I have dreams of building schools. I have dreams of discipling nations. I have dreams of seeing people miraculously saved, healed, and delivered. I feel like I’m seeing none of that during my current occupation. Still, I am learning things. I am learning discipline and hard work. I am learning how to serve people I don’t agree with. I’m learning how to love when I don’t feel inspired. I am learning how to see beauty in each and every person. I’m learning to prophesy life into dead situations. Perhaps most importantly, I am learning to see the diamond in the rough and draw it out. In that, teaching now is my journey, my destiny.