I suspect those who know me only peripherally believe I am not very forward thinking. When asked what I see myself doing in 5, 10, 20 years, I no longer have an answer. Namely because "Living in Waco, TX and working at Barnes and Noble as a lower level manager," would have been the most comical thing to have come out of my mouth ten years ago. I'm serious about this. People would have LAUGHED.
But it's not that I don't think about the future. It's that I think about it a bit too much, and my thoughts change hourly. When I was in my twenties I thought this would end and I would eventually be given a clear path to walk. But I'm beginning to suspect the path is never as clear as we'd like it to be. The best we can hope for is to have people we love walk beside us in the dark, alerting us to the stumps and weeds as they trip and fall.
A close friend likes to quote another friend who quotes C.S. Lewis who said "Whatever you do, try as hard as you can to live near very good friends." And, honestly, this is my only desire. There is definitely something to be said for moving out of your comfort zone if it is for the greater good of serving God, humanity, or really anything outside of yourself. But there's also something to be said (and it isn't said enough) for staying put. Planting gardens. Getting to know the cook they call "Shine" down at Dubl-R-Burgers on 18th, or becoming a local legend because of my working knowledge of all 100 beers on tap at Crickets. I'm very Garrison Keillor that way.
But, then again, Garrison Keillor lives in New York City, not Minneapolis.
So, enough of my evasion. Ten years from now...
If I could make a living corralling words into sentences, and sentences into a string of paragraphs that are bound and put out for people to exchange their money for, thereby allowing me to eat... that would be Grade A.
I also like talking. I like it so much I do it often when there isn't even anyone else around to talk back. Sometimes people pay other people to sit on a stage with a microphone and something to say. Maybe if these people thought I had something to say they'd give me the microphone, and a little money as well.
Maybe I'll end up being the husband of a pastor and stay home with the kids. I always thought that might be cool.
I like listening as well. There's a pastor in town who I see from time to time and in all our conversations he tells me I should go into counseling. Maybe his is the voice of God speaking into my life and I will be doing that in ten years.
But, you know, being a lower level manager at Barnes and Noble in Waco, TX isn't so shabby, either.