What do you want to do with that degree?
Is this [job] what you were hoping to do as a career?
How long are you planning to stay?
The questions we ask people about life, whether it be careers, marriage, children, hobbies, etc… often are the wrong questions to ask. During day one of orientation for my Master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary I was asked numerous times, “What degree program are you in?” closely followed by the question, “Oh, great, so what do you hope to do with that?” Or, “What kind of ministry are you planning to serve in after you finish?”
So many of our questions are leading questions. We intend to lead people to a specific type of answer. An answer that belongs in a neatly organized box. And not only that, but these questions do not focus on the heart of who the person we are conversing with, rather, we are forcing people to answer in a particular way so that we can categorize them.
Since my move here to Seoul, I have been asked too many times, “Oh, so is this job what you were wanting to do when you attended seminary?”
Um, no. It isn’t. Wasn’t.
I had no clue I would be here.
I have no clue how long I will be here.
I have no clue where I will go next.
God only knows.
And that’s the thing about all our grand plans: they aren’t ours. We can plan all day until our faces are blue and our fingers are bleeding with callouses: we cannot know the future.
Proverbs rightly reminds us: “A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, NET)