I’ve been wrestling with questions about my future lately (which is common for me). What if I should change my major? How many years should it take to finish college? Where will I work after college ends? What if I don’t get the career I want? How long will it take for me to get married and have kids?
Of course, I have my life figured out in my head.
I want to earn a degree in marketing. I want to become a published author within five years after college. I want to write for Christian magazines or websites. I want to get married by the age of twenty-five and have kids by the age of thirty. I want to maintain a beautiful home that’s close to my parents. I want to have three kids and maybe even a pet. I want to work from home while I take care of my husband and kids.
But my expectations are incredibly high. In fact, I’m likely setting myself up for disappointment.
Because what if my life isn’t as amazing as it seems to be in Disney movies? What if I don’t earn a college degree? What if I don’t become a famous author? What if I work at the same company for thirty years and sit at a desk all day? What if I live in a tiny apartment by myself? What if I don’t get married until I’m 40? What if I can’t have children? What if I never write for a popular magazine or website?
All I know is that life is perfect in Disney…but it isn’t in reality. In movies and TV shows, life is exciting and full of adventure. It includes trips to Paris and falling in love and getting paid to write poetry. So little boys and girls, like myself, create expectations that lead to disappointment and failure. We discover that traveling to Paris is incredibly expensive, falling in love also includes heartbreak, and getting paid to write poetry rarely happens.
Unlike what Disney has told us in fairytale movies, our dreams don’t always come true in reality.
I know I’ve painted a bleak picture for you. Perhaps I’ve crushed all your hopes and dreams. Maybe I’ve caused you to cry or panic or worry.
There’s no need for tears or panic attacks or worry. There’s only a need for realistic expectations to be held. In fact, I believe the key to enjoying life is having realistic expectations.
You could say that the writer of Ecclesiastes painted a pretty bleak picture as well. He was warning his son about the follies of life, including marriage, work, and pleasure. He knew that the things of this life would pass away.
But he also knew what would not pass away.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV)
Here’s what I mean by including this passage for this particular post:
- I’m not saying it’s sinful to dream. I’m still going to dream about becoming a published author and getting married to a handsome man someday. But if chasing those dreams becomes more important than chasing God’s calling, it is sinful.
- I’m not saying it’s sinful to set goals. After all, if we don’t set goals, we’ll never accomplish anything. But if accomplishing those goals becomes more important than accomplishing God’s will, it is sinful.
- I’m not saying it’s sinful to use your God-given talents and desires. He can use your natural gifts and desires for His glory, and that’s a beautiful thing. But if using those talents becomes more important than using His strength, it is sinful.
Friends, our dreams will come and go. Some will become realities, and some will fade as distant memories. All I know is that God knows best. He will give us what we need when we need it. We need to learn to be okay with the fact that our current dreams and desires may not come to pass.
And we can learn to be okay with that by fearing God and obeying Him because that is our unchanging purpose (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
P.S. Last week, I posted about a giveaway and offered a free e-book (The Best of Tizzie’s Tidbits) to my 201st-210th followers if they signed up by July 10th. Thank you to my new followers! I just wanted to remind my new followers to use their email addresses if they want to receive the free e-book. If you don’t follow Tizzie’s Tidbits using your email address, I can’t send the e-book. Thanks again to my new followers! 🙂