What do you want to do with your life?
When I was a teacher, towards the end of each year, I used to ask my year 12 students, “What do you want to do with your life when you leave school?” I’d regularly get a range of responses which typically went something like this – “I’m going to Uni to study (whatever).” Then, I’d usually ask, “And what then?” So, they’d begin to outline their dreams and aspirations for the future. This often included great plans for success, whether that be in starting their own business, buying their dream home, buying that hot car, travelling, developing an investment portfolio and retiring early to enjoy the spoils of their lives. At the end of this exploration of their dreams, I often pressed a little further by asking, “And what then?” After a few more rounds of describing the perfect life, they would usually arrive at the statement, “Well, I suppose then I’ll die.” To which I would again ask, “And what then?”
This often left my students fumbling to know how to answer the question. “What then?” This is a really important question, because, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” And, what then?
All of this came to mind recently as I was reading some of McCrindle’s latest research on Millennials. While some things have changed for this new generation, others remain much the same. Gen Zs still want a life of meaning, purpose and fulfilment. However, their career aspirations and desires for fulfilment have changed. McCrindle notes that “the average school leaver could have 18 jobs across six careers over their working life. The old notion of studying for a life-long career is fast changing. “Just 14% of students are looking for traditional employment.” “With a strong desire for hybrid work, students see a flexible working lifestyle (60%) as the greatest opportunity ahead for them.” https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/what-gen-z-are-looking-for-as-they-enter-the-world-of-work/
All of this, of course, has implications as we seek to engage with Gen Zs and encourage them to pursue God’s desires and plans for their lives. I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul says in his amazing testimony in Philippians 3. In verse 10 he says, “I want to know Christ.” Above every other dream or ambition in life, I want to know Jesus. I want to know him deeply, intimately and personally. But then, later in this testimony he basically says, “I want to know his purpose and plan for my life.” How does he express this? He says, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.” Jesus got a hold of my life, and he has a purpose and plan for my life. Yes, that plan is first and foremost for me to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But he also has a plan for my life in the here and now. In fact, in Ephesians 2:10, Paul reminds us that we have been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
“What do you want to do with your life?” The world entices us with all kinds of possible answers to that question. But, for the child of God, regardless of our age, the answer that pleases the heart of God is simply this, “I want to embrace God’s plan and purpose for my life. I want to do every good thing that he has prepared for me to do in my life.”
Peter Francis (Principal)