I can do anything!

A millennial friend of mine said a curious thing to me recently.  She said "You know what I believe? I believe you can do anything you put your mind to."  I asked her to elaborate and she said “If you try your hardest and work your hardest you can BE anything you want...DO anything you want.” I took the bait and said “that’s really not true, you know. That’s just something American Idol parents tell their hopeful teenage contestants in an attempt to motivate and encourage them.”

...Pro-bab-ly could have handled that in a different way but I was trying to state the obvious: No matter how hard you try and how big you dream, you can’t be an American Idol winner if you don’t have a good voice ( voice lessons can only get you so far). Or, no matter how hard you work, you can’t be a neurosurgeon unless you’re brilliant…and not everyone is brilliant, they’re just not.  Or, no matter how big you dream, you can’t be the next Michael Phelps if you don’t have the necessary physical attributes for success in the pool.  You can get up as early as you want and swim as many laps as you want but this can only get you so far ( just like if Michael Phelps sets his mind to becoming an Olympic gymnast. He can try as hard as he wants and dream as big as he can but the balance beam will probably never be his forte).

But I woke up this morning realizing my argument had missed the point altogether! As a believer in the God of the Universe; in the God who loved me enough so sacrifice his own son so that I could be saved from myself and live a full life with him, I should have said something more like this: “You know, I can work and try and dream all I want but if I’m not cooperating with the Lord and his perfect plan for my life, nothing will work out as it should. But, if I’m trusting in his goodness toward me and allowing him to guide my footsteps, I’ll walk right into the perfect wheelhouse for my natural giftings. Because I’ll have been staying in tune with him, my dreams will be his dreams, my strivings will be in line with and divinely equipped for his sovereign plan FOR my life. And it’s then and ONLY then that I’ll have perfect peace, contentment and rest for my soul.” 

In short, nothing wrong with dreaming big and working hard. In fact, they're both Biblical. Just make sure what you're aiming at is God's unique target for your life; a bulls-eye hand-crafted by him...just for you.

Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.