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Youthful Vision Sizes Our Adult Horizon

February 27, 2014

What kind of life do I want to lead? Where do I want to live? What gifts and talents should I develop further? Should I earn a college degree? – online or on campus? What should I do for a living?

Big questions such as these are always asked when a man is young, whether or not we are aware of it at the time. Sadly these questions are not always answered well – or permanently – at that age. My purpose in this article is to encourage young men to think on these questions as teenagers, and to continue to refine their answers into young adulthood.

Wise life direction begun as a young man will yield rewards for the rest of your life!

As a teenager and young man, it is difficult to see the truth that decisions made during this point of your life truly reverberate throughout the remainder of your life. Decisions made over a period of half a dozen years or so will open or close doors and change the direction of the remaining 6 decades of your life!

If these “big questions” are answered indirectly, via social currents or happenstance – e.g. marrying based on a physical attraction felt for a time, choosing work based on which job application was approved, taking what looks like a large paycheck today only to realize that there’s no path upward, choosing a college major based on a magazine article, bypassing college because “school is boring/worldly/expensive/delayed adulthood” – adult life can require painful backtracking/restarting at its best, or be depressing, empty and ultimately wasted at its worst. I believe strongly that the horizon of a man’s life is expanded or limited significantly to the extent that he builds a Vision of possible life 10, 20, 30, even 40 years later.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. — Proverbs 29:18

Wise young people think deeply about these topics well before their adult lives begin. They prepare themselves; they build their knowledge, wisdom – and most importantly, their character. Wise parents guide this process and disciple them based on their understanding of their children’s temperaments and talents, their knowledge of the Word of God and of the world around them – both what it is today, and what is increasingly difficult to see given the accelerating pace of change, what the world is becoming. Growing up with a wide and informed vision of their future potential, benefitting from a grasp of God’s law and understanding their place in the world, wise young people help insure their lives are lived with purpose and to the fullest.

This by no means insures a long life, nor one of success or lasting legacy. God is sovereign over these things, and even the best-prepared young people may have their lives taken at a young age or may experience difficulties or persecution.

A vision of the future, though, insures at least that a young person’s adult life is not lost to the winds of chance or directed by the whim of social coincidence. It opens the horizon to a meaningful purposeful life which brings them satisfaction and serves as a testimony of God’s blessing in their life.

Young person, look far into the future and see the beautiful life that might be yours. Is there hard work required to reach that goal? The best of future options in the world do not simply open because you want them. If you are unwilling to work hard toward an admirable goal you should prepare yourself for the life of constant struggle that you will share with everyone else making that myopic decision.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. — Proverbs 13:4

Do not doubt that the investment in yourself (measured in years) will be well repaid by a life (measured in decades) spent reaping reward from that hard work – a reward which not only benefits yourself but your future spouse and children. Will such a life require courage to stand against the flow of culture? Begin as you would desire to finish, and you will stand with God as your support.

College plans (Whether, What, Where) are among the most critical decisions which the Vision will inform

Although the traditional reasons for obtaining a college degree (better job prospects, better pay, upward mobility) are getting stronger every year:

But there are two critical counter-points to these overall trends:

  • A high school graduate who can learn valuable skill(s) outside college and/or somehow obtain sufficient capital to become an entrepreneur might set his sights on earning power matching his college-educated peers, and with possible benefits in schedule freedom
  • College graduates who spent their college years socializing rather than learning will face a starker reality in the business world now than ever before

So for the question of college plans, just as with the topics discussed earlier, the presence or absence of a Vision is the key determinant. Young men who build a Vision for a fulfilling career which does not require a college degree are far more likely to find success (including sufficient income to fully support his family, and a lifestyle enabling him to lead it) than those who attend college but waste those years living in the moment. If a young man does decide to earn a college degree (or graduate degree even) as an investment in his qualifications toward the career and life he envisions, he will enter his studies with a completely different mindset and purpose than the party-seeking world-pleasing masses.

Build a vision, refine it, prepare for it – this is how you position yourself to live it.

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From → Economics, Parenting

One Comment
  1. What keen insight you have shared in this blog. Great thoughts on what should be thought about it. Gives me more encouragement to help provide tools on how to execute this.

    Additionally, I find your final points to be most poignant and valuable regarding the perspective offered.

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