What Do You Want to Be?

Scripture: Genesis 12:1-9

What Do You Want to Be?

Dave Evans, co-founder of The Life Design Lab at Stanford University, recently said on NPR, “the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ question we don’t think is very helpful. We prefer ‘what do you want to be next as you continue growing. So the fundamental question is, ‘do we think we are growing as persons?’” He goes on to remark how this isn’t simply a question for restless teenagers, twentysomethings, and those just getting started. Evans goes on to remark, “Let me reframe that question another way: So what you’re really saying is ‘gosh Dave, have you noticed what age is it at which most people don’t care anymore and they’re just waiting to die?’”

We are hopefully always open to adapting, growing, changing, and transitioning. As tempting as some spectacular moments in our lives may make it, none of us ever really want to be stuck in a Groundhog Day loop where we relive the same moment or day over and over again. Life is in flux. Yesterday’s trend is tomorrow’s cliched fad. But growth isn’t an age thing. We don’t “arrive” a decade after graduation and just coast until our funeral. Or if we do, then perhaps we have ceased being in the present, and have moved our lives into the past tense. 

Abram was called by God to leave behind the familiar, the secure, and any sense of certainty. In exchange, Abram had for his compass heading “to the land I will show you.” Not much of a five-year plan. Sure God casts a grandiose vision of “blessing all peoples on earth,” but scant info is given on how all of this will come to pass. God simply affirms over and over again… “I will make you… I will make your name… I will bless those.” 

Abraham and Sarah become the parents of faith for the Hebrew and Christian tradition. They are examples of people willing to let go of what has been to step out into what has not yet emerged. If they are our spiritual Grandparents, then we too should be marked by a forward thinking, deep hoping, creative visioning, and radical trusting steps into the unknown. 

How might our faith communities be different if we took on the challenge not just to grow our numbers, but to grow, adapt, and reconfigure our faith and how we exist as faith communities?