Have you ever been asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
If you have been asked this question in an interview or casually been by a friend, it is much tougher to answer than you think. It stumps many who haven’t thoroughly thought through it. I’ve always been intrigued by it and recognize that it is extremely challenging to answer during some seasons in life. Most often I think in context and began looking back at my life. Most of the time it didn’t turn out exactly how I thought. But, I believe that many answers are found in the past. With the World Cup going on, let’s take a look at the last 20 during those years the World Cup occured.
Recently, I re-read Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In the book, Miller shares how when we look at our lives as is, it really isn’t that interesting. But, if you think through it as one would in writing a screenplay for a movie, many of the parts pieced together can be quite an interesting and at times adventurous story. In those parts of life, the drama and action are brought to life for the observer, reader, or watcher. So, I started to think through my life as a story just as Don analyzed his very own. I cannot remember every single thing like when I drove to school on day 267 in 1996 or on day 145 in 1999 when I debated whether or not to see one movie versus another. Pictures do help, though but unless you have a detailed minute by minute journal of your life, you just won’t remember those things.
It is the memorable scenes that stick out.
Here are my memorable scenes from the past 20 years:
1990…West Germany won the World Cup: I was 12, Saddam invaded Kuwait, I quit football and took on golf and soccer as my main sports, I remember my sister being on Student council, and I can’t remember much else.
1994…Brazil won the World Cup: I just came through a rough 1993 as a Freshman in High School, moved from Kansas City to St. Louis, discovered the amazing story of To Kill A Mockingbird (reading it in KC and STL), found friends at Young Life and they found me, I found Christ, and am still great friends with those with me in Young Life to this day. 1994 represented my “character arc” in many ways.
1998…France won the World Cup: I was a Sophmore at the University of Evansville, locked Stan Musial’s keys in his trunk while working at a country club in St. Louis(good times), I remember trying to ditch my Christian legalism and really try to understand grace in that year.
2002…Brazil won the World Cup: Great friends like Heath Hildebrandt, Rick Ewing, Josh Lang, Mike Schwacker, my father and others watched the World Cup games in the middle of the night and got to see USA make it to the quarterfinals. The world was getting used to being “post-9/11.” I worked for a film distributor in St. Louis and was getting used to life post-college. I also met Brooke and we began a friendship and the following year became more.
2006…Italy won the World Cup: Went to Spring Training to see the St. Louis Cardinals and they won the World Series later that year, Brooke and I celebrated our first year of marriage, we traveled to Germany for the World Cup to meet up with our friends Tobi and Curtis, saw my cousin returning from fighting in Iraq, and also traveled with my sister and brother-in-law. During the group stages of the World Cup, we watched games in city squares with thousands of other people. There is nothing like it in another country. I also remember desperately trying to find a bathroom in the German Medieval town of Rothenburg. Oh the things that stick out.
2010…We shall see who wins. This year has been interesting reflecting on what has happened since the last World Cup. I got married in 2005, we have had 2 wonderful girls, moved across town, and I started a job in publishing, which I love and can see myself doing forever. The year continues to surprise me.
So, what will the scenes of 2014 look like for us?
In 2014, I’ll have won my second Oscar, saved children and puppies from a burning house, win the US Open in golf, while finding time to cure malaria or some other disease. Good pipe dreams but you never know what God can do.
In truth, I’d like to be in Brazil for the World Cup, see my oldest daughter graduate Kindergarten, be back to Hawaii with my wife (we spent our honeymoon there and we love it) finish writing a book, and plan out a round the world trip for the family for when they can “remember” it a few years later. Who knows? But it’s fun to look forward to what’s next.
Where will you be? What will you be doing? Who will be with you?
Envision it like a scene in a movie and describe it.