Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

When I grow up, I’ll be a…

Recently I found this piece on BBC News, and think we could have a conversation. What did you want to do when you were eleven? (I wanted to be a professional athlete, but the sport changed from season to season. I didn’t get there, or even close!)

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up – and have you achieved it? A study run over the past 50 years has tested what helps childhood aspirations become reality.

In 1969 when they were 11 years old, 14,000 British children were asked to write 30-minute essays predicting what they might become in the future. ….

“There is definitely an observable link between what people are aspiring to do when they are 11 years old and what they end up doing when they are older.”

Of those with professional aspirations at age 11 – with dreams of being a vet, a lawyer, an architect – more than half did indeed end up entering professional occupations, even if their eventual career wasn’t quite the one they had had in mind. 

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posted February 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm

hmm… 11 would be about 6th grade. I have a hard time pinpointing exactly, but for a long stretch starting around that time I wanted to be an archaeologist. Nothing could be better than digging up artifacts and putting the puzzle together, finding a text and translating it. At times I still wish I had carried through on that.

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Scot McKnight

posted February 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

That’s a good one, RJS. You must have some model of that?

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Rachel H. Evans

posted February 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be either a cowgirl or an author.
I’m allergic to horses, but my first book comes out with Zondervan in July. :-)

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posted February 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

When I was little I wanted to be a secretary (which used to have an amazing reputation, when all the secretaries were men ;^) hehe), and I achieved more than I ever expected. I also wanted to be a preacher’s wife (like my mom!), but since none of the up-and-coming preachers I was around were interested in a iron-sharpening wife … I ended up becoming a preacher myself!
I always had a heart for the healing professions, and wondered about being a doctor or nurse … but my secondary education was too mixed up to really support that when I was young.
And now, after 18 years of secretarial-related work (including managing and training secretaries)and 10 years of pastoral work, and always managing to be the one to clean up after the sick and wounded, I’m five years into full time at doing the most challenging work of all: motherhood (three boys: 9, 11 & 14).
Secretarial skills and pastoral skills and triage skills have been a good foundation for life and essential for my current position as Dr. Mom!

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posted February 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I am not quite sure where the idea came from, maybe something on TV or even some presentation on biblical archaeology at church – but I read everything I could get. Gods, Graves, and Scholars was one of the first (although not the revised edition I’ve linked).

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posted February 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I remember wanting to be a nurse, but when my parents told me about bedpans, that ended it for me :) Now I work full-time in IT and serve my church as an elder. Since church work can be synonymous at times with bedpans, I guess in a way I did end up doing what I wanted to do.

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Justin Topp

posted February 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I wanted to be a sports broadcaster (already knew I couldn’t hack it on the field) or a respiratory therapist. Even though I became a biology professor, I still talk at the TV…

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posted February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

the only thing I remember saying that I wanted to be was a National Park Ranger–but then I saw that the women rangers had to wear skirts and that finished it for me. (definitately born too early).
Never really had a career path–just keep adding things and then by looking back I could see the hand of God in it–honing my talents and giving me opportunities to use my gifts.

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Matt Stephens

posted February 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I had no particular aspirations growing up?except getting out of my podunk Midwest town forever?until God gave me a burden in early high school for vocational ministry. Definitely continuing down that path.

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posted February 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I always thought I’d be a wife and mom and in 8th grade got the idea to be a youth pastor. I’m volunteering in youth work, so I suppose that happened. I think at 11 I thought I’d like to be a singer, which certainly hasn’t worked out!

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T. Webb

posted February 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Golly, I’m a 40 year old male, well educated, and constantly employed since college… and I have no idea what I want to be. No desire, no drive. I earn a paycheck, and… that’s it. I wish I knew what it was like to want to do something!!!!

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