Have you ever sat down in a job interview and been asked: How do you picture your life in the next 5 years?
It’s a tough question. Especially if we’ve been job searching for what seems a very long time, and you’re overwhelmed with bills, frustration and exhaustion. You think, “Well, I don’t even know how to picture my life in the next week, month, let alone year…how do they expect me to picture my life in the next 5 years?”
I’ve sat in that chair during that interview, and most of the time, you just answer something that the interviewer wants to hear. So,you lie. And, you wish you really believed what you answered, but aren’t quite sure if that’s going to happen or not.
The planners: people that plan their life right down to the second. They know what they want to major in right out of high school, they know when they’ll finish college and what job they want, and how their career is going to go in a span of a few years. This doesn’t mean that plans will always evolve the way they were planned, but there is a very specific plan in place.
The unsure planners: people that know what they like and wish they could do what they like. So they plan to save money, buy a car, buy a house, get a job, get married, have children, etc. But they’re not very specific planners, they tend to micro-manage their budget but don’t manage their overall finances. Most of the time they don’t end up doing what they wished for in the first place.
The go-with-the-flowers: people that do not like to plan anything. Spontaneity is their drive in life. Surprises, living on the edge is what keeps them alive. They tend to be content with little and appreciate what they have in the present. They are not worrisome people. In my country we call them “frescos como la lechuga” (fresh as lettuce).
No matter which type of person we are, we need a goal in life. I’m not talking about a short-term goal like saving for a car, or having children, or getting a healthy body. I’m talking about a global life goal, something we can apply to every area of our lives: finances, job, marriage, parenthood, friends, etc.
Questions like: What on earth am I here for? Why was I born? What is my purpose in life?
When I was in college, I read a wonderful book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It has stuck with me ever since because one of the first lines reads: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
Wow! I read that and immediately thought, “Wait. What?” “It’s MY life. How can it not be about me?” So I kept on reading and the 2 Bible verses that came up were:
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, . . . everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. COLOSSIANS 1:16
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ, . . . he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. EPHESIANS 1:11
God has continuously been showing me that my life is much more enjoyable when it’s about Him. It’s much more fruitful when my life is pointed towards others, family, friends, strangers. My life begins in Him and ends in Him. Most of my years, my life has been about me. But these past 2 years, God handed me a crash course on Life Re-direction 101.
It has been tough. God’s crash courses are tough because you have to learn one way or another. He will usually give you time, but we are stubborn and don’t want to learn the easy way…so he must turn to the hard way. But, whichever way you learn, I can guarantee that you’ll be joyful, content, and left feeling fulfilled.
It’s been 4 years since I got asked that question in that interview. My answer was something vague such as “Becoming a successful professional and having my own family.”
I am successful, not in terms of money, in terms of spiritually successful. God restored my heart and soul and re-directed my life towards what’s important. I have a wonderful family made up of my amazing, strong, handsome husband and a 4-legged furry daughter. God will decide when and if He’ll expand our family to include human children. And I am content and at peace with that.
So, what is your purpose in life? How do you see yourself in 5 years?