Thursday, November 19, 2009

This week's lesson: Numbers 18-19

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Strangely enough, that's one question the son of a priest or Levite never needed to ask himself. No, he knew what he was going to be: he was going to be a priest or Levite, just like his father!

And this seems strange to us -- strange because we're used to the idea that anybody can grow up to be anything they want to be. The idea that genetics determined destiny -- that only people with the proper breeding could could serve in the Lord's temple . . .

Well, it just seems un-American!

Yet the fact remains that choice plays a limited role in our choice of jobs. My career as a professional basketball player, for instance, has been cruelly cut short by the fact that I'm only five-foot nine-inches in height. (Then too, the fact that I'm near-sighted and clumsy probably hasn't helped.)

Likewise, our decisions have all been shaped by chance, genetics, the desires of our parents, and a host of other factors we don't know about -- much less understand. And once we hit your 50s, our ability to re-invent ourselves and our careers can seem just as limited as that of any Levite.

In short, many of us face the same choice as those would-be priests and Levites: the choice of what to do when a choice has already been made for us.
  • Do we make the best of it?
  • Or do we grumble and complain about what might have been?
Just like those priests and Levites, you see, most of us already know what we're going to be when we grow up.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

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