I’ve been thinking about the conversation we had back in August. The “I’m going back to college, and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life” conversation. Not an unfamiliar conversation between us. It surfaces on occasion, more so now that he is mid-way through his junior year at the university. Certainly, he has some thoughts and is working his way through a degree program, but there’s a nagging confusion that lingers in the shadows.
The unknown can be paralyzing, especially when you’re twenty-one and many in your peer group already have their five year goals in place and their resumes written. So often the unknown can foster paralyzing fear over adventurous faith, crippling insecurity over settled confidence. The unknown can keep a life stuck right where it is, walking in circles with feet shackled to the comfort of uncertainty. Yes, comfort. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to stay stuck in uncertainty than to move forward.
I’m not so unlike my son. I’m forty-five, and I’m still wrestling with what I want to be when I grow up. Some days, the unknown overshadows known truth, and I get stuck. Fear and insecurity creep in and the shackles around my feet seem an easier fit for me than the faith and confidence that is mine in Jesus Christ. Instead of progression, I regress. One step forward and two steps back isn’t in keeping with God’s growth plan for my life. Certainly, any forward movement is a gain, but at forty-five, I need to do more. With age, comes wisdom, and it’s time I started acting my age.
Acting. Action. A verb, not a suggestion. And so, I go back to that conversation I had with my son nearly six months ago, and I remember those few words I spoke into his confusion.
Try something new, son. Get out from behind your computer, get out of your dorm room and try something new… even if it’s uncomfortable. What’s comfortable isn’t working for you. It’s limiting your vision and keeping you stuck. Getting out into the world, meeting people face-to-face instead of on the Internet, is going to re-connect you to life. People and places—that’s where you’ll find it. Your dreams, your goals, the pulse that will move you forward into your “next.” It’s not in our DNA to stay put, to live inside. You’re a Killian… at the heart of it all, you’re a Killian. And Killians know that the best part of life is found in people. Go to them, son, and you’ll find your focus.
I’m pleased to report that my son has taken some new risks this year. He’s growing and maturing, moving into his own as his junior year unfolds. I see more confidence in his gait, more wisdom in his words, and I can’t help but think that just a few simple steps outside of his familiar are partly responsible for this ever-emerging transformation. He’s moving forward, and so must I.
Time to try something new. Time to get out from behind this computer screen and re-connect with life… face-to-face. As I look at my future, there are a multitude of unknowns looming on my horizon. The unknown could easily keep me shackled to my familiar. And while I cannot see much beyond today (and I’ve come to firmly believe this is a very good thing), I can take a few steps forward that will alter the course of my tomorrow. Just one or two baby steps to grow my confidence, to extend my faith. And then just one or two more beyond those initial ones. Before long… a lengthy accumulation of forward progression that will more fully transform me into the woman God intends.
A woman of adventurous faith and settled confidence. Oh to be her… even one little bit!
Movement wins, friends. With the cross before us, movement always wins. Keep to it. As always…
Peace for the journey,
PS: What steps are you taking to move yourself forward?