This is the second post in my “God Says Yes” series.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I have a love-hate relationship with that question. Personally, I love thinking about it. Socially, I hate being asked about it.
Because there’s been times when my answer has changed, sometimes from one day to the next. But, I want to seem confident, not confusing. I think we all do.
My dad’s been working with computers since around the time computers were invented, landing a job as a software engineer right out of college and now holding the same position at the same company nearly 40 years later. I had friends in college who knew from a very young age that they wanted to be doctors, optometrists, or teachers; they set out toward those occupations and never changed course. So confident.
But me? I wrote in a high school yearbook that I wanted to be a “writer/counselor/theologian” when I grew up — and now I’m professionally one of those things, at best. So confusing.
Feeling flighty, especially compared to my father and friends, I sheepishly asked God if it was okay to change my mind.
Yes yes yes.
Change is inevitable. At my church, there’s a sign in this one room (the room where youth and young adults meet,appropriately enough) that simply says this: “Life is change.” Even those people who decide practically in the womb what they’re going to be when they grow up will change their minds along the way about how exactly their goal will be reached.
Change is simplifiable. It’s complex, no doubt. (So much so that I’ve had to make flow charts before in order to comprehend the many directions my life could potentially be headed!) But, according to St. Augustine, it boils down to this: “Love God and do whatever you please, for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is beloved.” In other words, we don’t have to concern ourselves with whether our every minutiae is pleasing unto God. For, if we first consume ourselves with love for God the minutiae will follow.
Change is valuable. François Fénelon proclaims: “How dangerous it is for our salvation, how unworthy of God and of ourselves, how pernicious even for the peace of our hearts, to want always to stay where we are!” It can actually be dangerous, Fénelon says, for us to do too much of the same thing for too long. Changing our minds can be the bravest and best course of action, requiring self-awareness and resulting in self-improvement.
So, what if, when we change our minds (assuming the changed mind is still a fairly reasonable, God-fearing mind), we’re not considered flighty but consider ourselves flying? Not flitting from one passing interest to another but fitting more and more into the person we’re being led to be? What a truth-filled and liberating change that would be when we change our minds!