Ambition“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
You’ve asked me that question time and again,
And always I respond with the same answer:

I want to be a teacher—
For some dear student, struggling in school,
I want to make learning fun,
To bring reading assignments to life,
To give a child self-confidence…

I want to be a musician—
To calm a troubled heart with the
Reassuring tones of the piano,
To speak to the soul with a song,
To worship God on the organ…

I want to be a composer—
To write music which expresses my gratitude to God,
Or perhaps to arrange the work of another
So that it may best suit the need of the moment;
To transform a friend’s musical dream into a reality…

I want to be a reader—
To broaden my horizons on the wings of books,
To learn about the world and its peoples,
To benefit from the research of others, even from their mistakes,
To be challenged, to sharpen my mind…

I want to be a writer—
To write poetry, essays, letters, journals, tracts, books,
To identify my innermost thoughts, and then
Share them with others in a way in which they will
Understand, and perhaps appreciate…

I want to be a photographer—
To capture the dearest moments,
To frame them and preserve the memories,
Some to be shared by others,
Others to be treasured alone…

I want to be an artist—
To put a smile on someone’s face by
Presenting him with a sketch of his
Favorite scene, or perhaps, his own face,
In pencil, pastel, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, ink, oil…

I want to be a seamstress—
To sew for friends and family,
Beautiful clothing and priceless gifts,
All with the special addition of a personal touch,
And to extend the life of garments by repair and alteration…

I want to be a cook—
To welcome strangers with a hot meal,
To comfort the bereaved with a timely dinner,
To celebrate special occasions with special creations,
To prepare a tempting treat for no good reason at all…

I want to be a hairdresser—
To cut and style hair in a way that will
Bring out the natural beauty
Of the person, to make that person feel good about himself,
And to save him a little money…

I want to be a hostess—
To serve guests at a dinner or party,
To make all feel welcome and comfortable,
To provide a warm bed and hot shower to the traveler and the homeless,
“Thereby entertaining angels unawares…”

I want to be a friend—
To be available to anyone who needs
A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold,
A listening ear, a prayer partner,
A companion to drive out the loneliness…

I want to be a wife—
To pour all my life into the
Care of one special man, to love him, to
Cherish him, to meet his needs, and
To satisfy his desires as I am able…

I want to be a mother—
To have children of my own
To nurture, to teach, to discipline,
To do special things for and with,
To pray for, to weep over, and—one day—to let go of…

I want to be an example—
To the children I teach, to my own children,
To the adults with whom I come into contact,
“In word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,”
Bearing the fruits of a godly life…

I want to be a servant—
To do the menial tasks
With a cheerful and willing spirit,
Not mindful of the notice or criticism of others, but
To receive recognition from God alone…

I want to be a soulwinner—
To combine all of the occupations above
Into one common goal: to show someone some
Kindness, love, compassion… so that I may one day
Point that someone to Christ.

I wrote this poem 26 years ago. Looking back, I have fulfilled all of these ambitions and more. Some I have left behind, but many of these pursuits I continue in to this day. It’s interesting to notice how little my ambitions have changed over the years. Then again, it’s not surprising, considering the vastness of the list.

Photo taken at Chix Beach in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2017

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