The idea that we need to live a life that matters can be overwhelming, especially when we’re in our late teens and early twenties. The film Into the Wild (directed by Sean Penn [Paramount Pictures, 2007]), based on the book by Jon Krakauer, chronicles the tragic story of Christopher McCandless and his quest for purpose and meaning. After graduating with honors from Emory, Christopher rejects a conventional lifestyle, donates most of his money, and heads out to experience life in the wilderness. After two years of travel, he settles in an abandoned bus in the remote Alaskan wilderness. At first, he seems to enjoy the isolation, but in a few months’ time he realizes that happiness is “only real when shared.” How sad that Christopher didn’t realize that until it was too late. God desires that you work hard to steward the talent and opportunities given to you—but you don’t have to be paralyzed before seeking a direction. Our lives were not meant to be self-seeking; rather, we find fulfillment in sharing ourselves with others. Maybe you have no idea what you are going to be when you grow up. That’s okay. Foster your relationship with God and seek his guidance. If we do that, we can be confident that the decisions we make for right now and for the future will help us live a life that matters, according to his will.
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