Many teenagers have big dreams for their future. You may not know the specifics just yet, such as where you’re going to go to college, who you’re going to marry, or where you’re going to live, but you probably have dreams of becoming rich and famous or influential and loved. We want to be successful in life.
And then we Christian teenagers put a Christian spin on that and dream of doing great things for God. I want to write Christian books, travel the world, and bring people to Christ. I want to do this, and that, and that other thing too. I have big ideas for what God is calling me to and I really want to get started! I’m a sophomore in high school this year, but I wish I were a college graduate ready to fulfill God’s purpose for me. I see my schoolwork as boring and mundane. I want to get to the bigger, greater stuff that I know is to come.
For all of the ambitious Christian teens out there who can relate, I have an encouraging message: You can take steps–however small they may be–towards your God-given goals RIGHT NOW.
It is not bad to have those bigger goals and dreams. I believe that all things are possible through Christ and that anybody willing to follow Him completely will do great things for Him. But I also believe that Jesus wants us to be faithful in the little things.
Luke 16:10 says this: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
We can be faithful in the little things that God has called us to. Whether it be in your schoolwork, being friends with the new kid, or volunteering at your church, you can be Christlike and work hard in everything you do. If you’re taking a math class, then do your very best in math even if you don’t like it. If you play an instrument, practice that instrument so that you can play to the very best of your ability. There are so many things that we can do to bring glory to God even in middle or high school.
God very well could have it in His plan to send you to another country as a missionary someday, but it might be that you have to learn a second language first. I don’t really like Spanish, but I had the realization recently that God could be using my Spanish class to prepare me for a future as a missionary. In the same way, God could be using any of your classes, clubs, or relationships to prepare you for what’s to come. God is preparing you for your future even if you don’t realize it. Use your talents, resources, and opportunities that you have now to the best of your ability because it might be that that thing you thought wasn’t important is the very thing that God is calling you to.
Sometimes you just have to be patient and let God work on your heart. You may have these great plans to change the world, but it might be that God wants to change your heart first! There might be an important lesson that God wants to teach you before He sends you to the nations. When you read the story of Paul, for example, you might get the idea that Jesus called him and he was immediately this amazing preacher who brought the gospel to thousands. But it didn’t happen as quickly as I first thought. I like how the Blue Letter Bible commentary puts it: “He was Saul of Tarsus, the young, successful, energetic rabbi. Then he was Saul the persecutor; then Saul the blind. He became Saul the convert and then Saul the preacher. Yet before he became Paul the apostle, he spent somewhere between 8 and 12 years as Saul the unknown. Those were not wasted years; they were good and necessary years.” God had things that he had to teach Saul before he became Paul. And while we might think that high school is a waste of time and we could be doing so much more with our lives, just remember that they’re not wasted years; they are good and necessary years. You just might have to be the unknown high schooler before you can be the person you want to be.
Keep pursuing God, and you will do great things for Him. But you have to be faithful in the little things today so that God can trust you with the big things He has planned for you later. You have to trust that the things you are doing and going through right now are preparing you. And you have to remember that not even the great apostle Paul was immediately great. Do everything you do as for the Lord and not as for men. Learn as much as you can from your mistakes and allow God to mold you into who you’re meant to be.
I challenge you today to read and study your Bible. I challenge you today to pray for your future. I challenge you today to study hard and do well in school. Take the small steps and do whatever you can. Be faithful in that which is least and God will do great and mighty things through you.