“Follow your dreams!” “You will do amazing things!” “Change the world!” ”
These kinds of sentiments are becoming increasingly prevalent in both “secular” and Christian communities. In one sense, it might be good and life-giving to run after the big ideas you have, but I think you have to be careful, too.
Sometimes this “change the world!” mentality can keep you from the work, the people, and the life right in front of you–your right-here-life, the one that might not appear all that shiny or spectacular at first glance. The truth is, believing God wants you–calls you, even–to “change the world” will likely end in disappointment if you end up having a “normal job”, or a “normal family”…a “normal life” (which you will). And guess what, believing this isn’t the life you should be living will keep you from investing in it…which will make it even more disappointing.
Sometimes, my imagined calling keeps me from my actual calling. Sometimes, my imagined future influence (when I get “there” by becoming x or accomplishing y) keeps me from my actual influence (the student’s email, my lesson for tomorrow, etc.). Sometimes, my imagined life keeps me from my actual life.
If you find yourself here someday, the good news is that you didn’t miss the boat with God’s calling. Investing in the work and people right in front of you is called faithfulness. And faithfulness is best supported by contentment. When you are faithful with a little, as a member of Christ’s Body, God works in powerful ways to bring about the kind of change He wants for the world.