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While growing up, I thought, “One day, I’m going to be an astronaut.” At some point, that dream changed and I wanted to be a professional water skier! Is that even a full-time profession? That dream changed too when I won second place in our school’s talent show performing a Barry Manilow song. You’re probably asking, “Barry who?” Anyway, that’s when I knew I would be a rock star!

I still haven’t made it to space, I haven’t been on my slalom ski since dislocating my shoulder, and I’m pretty sure the rock star days have passed me by! Years ago if people would have told me my career would take me around the world speaking and writing books, I would have thought they were crazy! But here I am doing things I never dreamed I would do!

What do you dream about doing with your life?

God has dreams for you too. I’m not sure He would use the word dreams, but He does have a plan specifically for you. God created you with certain abilities and talents. He has something for you to do that no one else can do better than you.”

Have you asked God to show you what career(s) He has for you? He will if you ask Him. He may not reveal this to you right away, but in His way and time, God will make clear to you His plans. In the meantime, whatever is before you each day – studying for exams, taking care of a younger sibling, volunteering in your community – God expects you to work hard in all you do.

Second Thessalonians 3:10-13 is a great reminder about the importance of hard work. This passage lays it out pretty heavy. It tells us that we will not eat if we do not work! Verse 13 encourages us to never get tired of doing what is good.

God expects you to work hard in all you do to use the gifts He has given you for His glory.

In school, at work, with your relationships, when everyone is looking and when no one is looking, God’s expectations of you are always the same – give it all you’ve got!

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could receive a text from God each day detailing what’s next, what’s expected of you, and the right thing to do in every situation? What if God messaged you each day to say what you should do and even give you the answers to that upcoming Algebra test? Such a life might seem easy. It would also become boring! There would be no wonder, no adventure, and no anticipation. You would never have to figure anything out for yourself or seek God’s guidance. Life would be routine, robotic, and meaningless.
Thankfully, God didn’t create you to be a robot. Instead, He wants you to learn what it means to trust Him, believing He has it all figured out. Getting to the “what’s next” has a lot to do with trusting God during the “what’s now.”

It is impossible to know all that lies ahead for you in life.

There will be moments when it seems there are no immediate answers to the questions you have about family, relationships, a career, and more. This is where trust in God will be critical.

Throughout Scripture we read stories where God’s people worked hard to accomplish the plans God created them to fulfill. And, Ecclesiastes 2:24 tells us that there’s hardly anything better than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in his work. This verse is a promise that when you work hard God will honor you.

If you are like I was when I was your age, you’re beginning to think more and more about what you want to do with your life. Awesome! Dream big! You have only got one life. As you dream, remember God’s plans for you are far greater than anything you can plan, especially if your plans include wearing black parachute pants while singing a Barry Manilow song.

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Want to read more from Jeffrey Dean? Check out Jeffrey’s books for students: Watch This, This Is Me, Between The Lines For Guys and Girls, and The Graduate Handbook.

If you are a parent, get a copy of Jeffrey’s newest book Raising Successful Teens.