Monday, March 30 2020 - 7:28 AM
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Finding Contentment

“When I grow up, I want to be a cashier!”

Smiling, my father replied warmly, “Well, Honey, if that’s your dream, we’ll make it happen.”

“Thanks, Dad. I’m going to run my own store. You’ll see.”

Growing up, most children dream of being a superhero and rescuing the world, or becoming a doctor and saving lives. But at the age of six, I dreamt of opening a grocery store. I was so invested in this future career that I bought my very own deluxe toy cashier with all my Christmas money. Every week, when my father brought home groceries, I would beg him to leave them on the kitchen counter so I could scan each item. It was always a thrill to have my siblings line up as store customers so I could scan the grocery items.

Although this seems like a silly dream for a six-year-old, it made me happy. I look back and remain so appreciative of my father supporting me during an early phase. Even though my dream job seemed somewhat ordinary, my father never laughed at my future career choice. He didn’t squash my dreams or convince me to take a more successful career route. Instead, he encouraged me to pursue what made me happy.

Childhood is a vital stage where our little minds begin to take shape, mold, and mature. We let our imaginations run wild and contemplate all the ways we can contribute to the world. At such a young age, we’re not burdened by the thought of failure or finances; instead, we scheme and dream about one day making it big and living happily ever after. Our innocence in childhood prevents us from worrying about the future and whether our careers will further our worldly status. We only wish to live out our dreams and be content.

As we grow, most of us begin to lose our childlike perspective and vision. John Lennon says it best:

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”

As we mature into adulthood, we become painfully aware that the path to achieving our dreams and becoming happy is often strewn with overbearing bosses, unforeseen bills, and the seemingly unnecessary red tape of just getting by. There can be a tendency to settle into a daily rhythm where the mundane existence of merely living crowds out the vivid dreams of making a difference, getting ahead, and pursuing the goals that seemed so important to us as children.

Frequently we make career choices based on financial stability or the expectations of others. We lose the joy and youthful outlook on life that once drove our imaginations! Our childish, colorful lens can often turn to gray, leaving fragmented shades of exhaustion, or disappointment. Some of us tend to think of our careers as survival, a way to support a lifestyle we need or desire. However, it’s important to encompass a grateful perspective while holding on to our childlike vision of seeking happiness and making a difference.

Even though my childhood vision has changed, I still hold on to the hopes and dreams of a happy future. Whatever career path we choose, it’s important to hold onto our desire for real happiness and contentment, while striving to make a positive difference.

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will do this.” (Psalm 37:4-5, NIV).

Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.

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About Madeleine Lowe

Madeleine Lowe

writes from Indiana.

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