TREE FALL: What’s the stress-free secret to securing your future?

"Tree Fall" features college-focused stories, tips and inspiration for living Christian values in our broken world.

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” -Jeremiah 29:11

What’s the secret to securing your future?

That’s a serious question. We’re fed this story from an early age. For as long as I can remember, adults would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Here are my answers in chronological order from age five to now: Indiana Jones, Archaeologist, Astronaut, Harrison Ford, Director, Architect, Engineer, Architect, Director, Video Producer, Designer, Public Relations Specialist, Company Spokesperson, Internal Communications Specialist.

Let’s face it. I still want to be Indiana Jones.

Reflecting now on the list, I see that some came true and some, sadly, didn’t. (I’m not now, nor will I ever be a real or fictional version of Harrison Ford.) We’re taught from an early age that we must choose our destiny. Simple. Just decide the thing that we’re best at and then do that. I have an issue with that. When does life ever work that way?

I had a friend in college that changed majors 13 times. When he started into a new major, he would associate the entire profession on that very first class. If he didn’t like the class, he would change majors again. Again and again and again. He was in school for more than seven years and still ended up getting a job unrelated to his final major.

“I have a Veterinary Science degree.”

So I return to the original question. What’s the secret to securing your future?

We’re taught that selecting a major and getting a job is the key to your fulfillment and survival. Talk to the adults in your life. How many got a job in their field right out of school? And how many are still doing that same thing? It’s less common than you think. I got a job in my field right out of graduation, but changed my career five years later.

We put too much stress on our future plans. That verse in Jeremiah (above) is a good reminder that we have very little control over our future. In fact, pursuing future plans without considering what God may have in store sets us up for disappointment and failure.

So what’s the secret to securing your future? Consulting God.

Isaiah 46:10 says “Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” It doesn’t get more real than that. He will do whatever He wants, so we should embrace it. Why? Because if you “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) That’s not just advice; that’s a promise.

The best part of a straight path is that it allows you to see everything that lies ahead.

When we’re faced with the looming threat of future decisions, take a step back. Relax. Pray. Read the word. In the end, it’s our reliance on God that will carry us toward being successful, fulfilled individuals, not which box we checked at the college admission desk. Unless that box allows you to be Harrison Ford. In that case, please be Harrison Ford.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

  • What stresses you the most about the future?
  • Have you ever changed your mind or course-corrected? What was the result?
  • Do you ever feel tension between what you want to do and what you feel called by God to do?

Bible Verses

  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Proverbs 27:1
  • Isaiah 46:10
  • Proverbs 3:5-6

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