I was on Facebook recently and noticed that my brother, Doug, had endorsed a website, Classmates.com, that linked people who attended high school together. I was a high school graduate in 1970 and so, out of curiosity, I followed the link and ended up gaining access to the roster of students who attended Morgan Park High School in Chicago and graduated in my class.
While we had many hundreds of graduates, approx. 200 of them had signed up with the website and many of them had articles about their lives. While many of the names were not familiar to me, there were a number of people who I instantly remembered. Normally, I wouldn’t have even bothered to do something like this, bit several weeks ago, I was dreaming about high school and all the friends I used to hang out with. Oddly, several days prior to that I received a “friend” request from my best childhood friend in 7th grade and I have been on a roll ever since.
Janet has cautioned me about not being able to go back, which I understand, but I have this curiosity about how the lives of some of my classmates turned out. One childhood friend is a vet in Washington state and a person I knew as a sophomore has lived in China, travelled to Nepal, written books and done a host of other things that really surprise me – I never, ever would have guessed that. I don’t know why I have such a difficult time imagining some of these friends living the kinds of lives they lead. Perhaps the same thing could be said about my life and how it turned out. There is no way that I could have anticipated the life I have today.
For starters, I don’t think I ever thought of myself as a 60+ year old guy. And I think that I had unrealistic financial expectations of myself way back in the day. And I thought life would be easier than it has turned out. And… and… and… The one thing that has been a constant for the whole journey is that Janet and I have been together the entire time – and there is great comfort in that. We have many shared memories and childhood acquaintances that we both remember well.
It amazes me that God already knew everything that I have just found out the last several weeks as I have been trying to catch up on where people are and what they have done with their lives. In fact, since God created all of us, in His image I might add, He already knew about the choices we would make and none of this is news to Him. The verse for this evening acknowledges that God has always known what is best for each of us and these things were taken into consideration as we have all moved through our lives. From Jer. 29:11, we are told, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
And what a future most of us have had – far different from what we could have imagined. My encouragement this evening is that God has great plans for you – and He always gives us passion for the things that are in accordance with His will for our lives. So doing things inconsistent with how God wired you will not bring you the kind of joy that God would wish for you. My prayer is that you will prayerfully consider what God’s next mission for you is – regardless of your age. While you are considering what that mission may be, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…