"What are you going to do after High School?" It's graduation season on the Youth Ministry front and I've watched many a student cringe as they've been asked this question over and over. And over. Some feel very prepared with a well thought through response and a smile of confidence, while others feel nervous and unsure of their future. The truth is, this conversation never ends. Yes, most of us graduate from High School and eventually move away from mom and dad to something else, but the question of "What's Next?" continues to linger. Those poor unsuspecting graduates who think they will get a break from this question in the Fall when College begins, are in for a real wake-up call when they come home for Thanksgiving only to hear, "Have you met anyone?" And then when you finally do fall in love and have a steady relationship..."When are you two finally going to tie the knot?" Knot tied? "BABIES?!" I've literally been at the hospital visiting someone after they have given birth, when another visitor walked in and asked, "So how long do you two plan to wait before you have another?" The list of questions grows as you get older, "Preschools? Promotions? Retirement? Remarriage? Grandkids???"
I don't know exactly why people do this. I have been guilty as well of attempting to move people through the stages of life very quickly. As the person being asked the questions, the whole proccess gets old pretty quickly. You feel like you are being rushed to take the next step in your life that will lead to ...? More happiness? Satisfaction? I'm not sure. What I do know, is that every stage of life has it's joy and pain. I am a fan of enjoyingit all. I look back now on these portions of my life and think things like: what if I would have succombed to the dating pressure instead of enjoying all of the things that come with being single? I would have missed hanging out with friends til all hours of the night, making all of my own decisions, even being lonely. And what if Adam and I would have listened to my mother (jk, mom) and all of the other voices telling us we should have had kids right away? Our lives would be different now. And I'm happy the way my life has been drawn. Is it possible for us to enjoy every season with our frinds, relatives, and aquintances? I hope I can, because in reality, I ask myself "What's next?" enough for all of us.