2 Peter 3:8: “With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day.”
What exactly is this verse saying to you? 2 Peter was written as a warning. A warning about false teachers and immoral lifestyles. Peter also emphasizes the importance of growing in God. If we use up all of our time and resources building castles in the sand, we will obviously not have time for growth in God.
In a culture obsessed with deadlines, goals, benchmarks, and metrics, it can be hard to step back and realize that God’s timing is often at odds with our own timing. After all, we have deadlines to meet, places to be, things to achieve. It’s about us, right? That seems to be what we are taught from a very early age. We are taught the importance of goal setting, education, professional achievements, and worldly success. I am not saying that these things are not at all important, just that God may view them through a different lens and wants our focus on Him first and foremost.
We set goals, often goals that are not even true to our innermost self, and then hit the road running, off in various directions toward achieving those goals. We have lofty ideas about where our personal and professional life should be at, say age twenty-five, thirty, forty, etc. When we fall short of these goals, we beat ourselves up. However, the Bible is very clear that God, the creator of time and space, has a different measuring stick. Sometimes God creates detours in our life so that we are able to grow in Him and are therefore better able to serve Him. Therefore, the detours are not detours at all, but learning and growth experiences.
Before having children, a large portion of my life revolved about career, upward mobility, and success. Even after our first son was born, I mistakenly thought life (a.k.a. my old, long-gone, kiss it good-bye life) would get back to normal. Boy was I wrong! Praise God for the beautiful career of parenting, which has been the most humbling experience to date. An experience where my “to-do” list and priorities are disheveled by 8 a.m. daily, an experience where selfless living becomes the standard, and an experience through which I can only begin to comprehend the love God has for us, His children. I never completely understood how someone could openly and freely lay down their life for another person until becoming a parent; yet, that is exactly the kind of agape love our Father demonstrated for us.
As for my old plan, I am thankful to be completely derailed. Becoming a parent and being forced to make some tough decisions about the direction of my professional life enabled me to close a door behind me and open the door to the plans God has in store for me. What I found out (and a part of me always knew) was that I spent nearly a decade in a career that was not compatible with my innermost self and God-given gifts. (It was simply compatible with my education and professional background.) Of course, I had some wonderful experiences during those years and met many fantastic service-minded people; however, the little voice inside my head kept on insisting I was not on the right path. There are days when I wonder what the next chapter will look like; however, I am learning to trust that I am exactly where God wants me to be right now. God does not get it wrong, even when we do. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”