Have you ever thought what the next few years will bring? Will you marry, have children, live in a nice home and have a stimulating job? What expectations do you have for your life in the next 10 years? These were the questions we asked our readers. Here are some of the insights, concerns and hopes that were sent to us via e-mail.
The thought most often mentioned (by 75 percent of those who responded) was a hope that they would be happily married and be able to have a family. A third mentioned being baptized and wanting to continue their education. Most also thought the next 10 years would bring a mixture of opportunity and troubles.
One person wrote: "My answer to this question is really heart-filled. I am going to be baptized next month. I realize that this world is only temporary. I have always wanted to get married and have children and be a mom. I have a great family, and I am blessed because I see what family life could be like. Yet even though I am almost 20 and dating a member of the Church, who is going through university . . . we both look at it as a temporary life. I know there is much more to be had in the future Kingdom and no matter how much I wanted the family and husband . . . I know I can't comprehend what God has in store for His faithful people.
"[The year] 2013 may never be. At this rate, the way the world is, I am not so sure it will get that far, but I have heard in the past how people set dates, and that's not for us to do. In my opinion 2013 may be only the beginning of another 100 years or maybe the end of the road for man's ways. Either way, I won't give up the chance to marry or have children. I think it's important to live your life the best you can, and live God's way up till the end, no matter what the times are like.
"In my view, 2013 won't be any better . . . it will only be worse and more dangerous . . . all the more reason for God's people to pray for the return of Christ sooner than later. Thanks for asking the question." Jolene
A young man stated: "The year 2013 will be quite the same. Information and technology will provide new ways to live life as we choose. Even so, the people around the world will remain unchanged. We will still be agents of our own caprice: trapped in the ways of good and evil. Truly knowledge will increase, but our human frailty will remain." Jonathon
Another person confided: "I am an alcoholic and an addict. I am 19 years old and know a lot about recovery. I feel that I have fallen away from the Church and from the Lord. It hurts and I feel confused. I know I am better than my disease (of alcoholism and addiction) and my Heavenly Father does not want this for me, but I am soooo weak . . . The guilt and shame overwhelm me at times! Recovery is a simple process, but I always seem to find ways to complicate it! Anyway, I'm away from the Church and I feel I'm going through withdrawals. Basically, in 2013, I see myself in two ways: either actively back to living the way I should be, in Christlikeness to the best of my ability, or still drinking and using to my grave!!! Thanks for giving me the chance to keep it real!" Anonymous
A 23-year-old suggested: "In the year 2013 I expect to be married and have children. The United States will be at war, Christianity will be close to nonexistent in this nation, and my family will be poor and continually moving from place to place." Ken
Rhonda said: "I imagine in the year 2013 it will be even tougher to follow God's way because of the decline in human morality and the increase of bad influences. I can see more and more obstacles, for example, in the school systems with the Harry Potter junk and not being able to say the Pledge of Allegiance in some states. My expectations for myself are basically like everyone else's—to have gone through college and have a steady, good-paying job, to stay in the Church and live God's way and hopefully to have a great companion (husband) to go through life with."
A 20-year-old young woman offered this: "Ten years from now I envision myself to be already married to the man of my dreams whom God will bring into my life, a God-fearing and supportive husband, and it would probably already be our fifth wedding anniversary by then. God willing, I'll have two kids and I envision myself being a minister's wife, just like what I always wanted to do and be in life . . . to serve people and have that passion for doing God's work, which I'm sure by that time will be even more widespread." Anonymous
Becca shared her comments: "I've thought about my future a lot. In 2013 I will be 25 years old. I plan on being finished with college by then. I want to be an accountant and possibly be married or, hopefully, engaged by 2013. I want to be an accountant because for some strange reason I like budgeting and dealing with money. Also, accountants can work from home, so when I eventually become a mother I can work and be there for my kid(s). Honestly, I want to be married at around 23 and have my first kid at least a year later. That is as far as I've planned so far."
Another e-mail response stated this: "‘What will the year 2013 be like?' It is always nice to remember that adults are thinking of our future. I think that as world events continue to unfold around us, young people in God's Church will continue to be blessed and live prosperous lives. Some things may be difficult, such as dealing with decreasing respect for religion and employers that want us to work on the Sabbath, or finding a spouse among limited Church youth, but I have faith that these issues will be taken care of. As we near the end time, I think it will become even more important for brethren to band together to support each other, as God's people and the world's people become more and more distinct." Anonymous
Another young man saw the world as more threatening: "I believe the year 2013 will experience more disastrous and tragic events. Terrorists work tirelessly day in and day out to successfully carry out disastrous attacks against the United States and her allies. Earthquakes are now common around the world. Moral decline is at its peak, to list but a few of the trends. All this assures us that more dangerous and unstable years await us. So in my opinion, the year 2013 is going to be like hell on earth as God's laws are rejected by humanity around the world." Hammond
"My experience has taught me to not really worry what might happen tomorrow. So I try to live in accordance with God's Word, His guidance and His divine plan even though it's extremely hard for a person like me. That's why I need your prayers to live my life as God wants." Angela
A young adult sees beyond the troubles to offer a positive view: "By observing the past and current times we're living in and seeing how prophecies are being unfolded, it appears that the next couple of years are going to bring forth much suffering in the world. The ways of society are leading to poverty, diseases, wars, etc., and people still continue in their evil ways . . .
"It would be great to envision being a part of the Kingdom and living in peace in 10 years, though I do realize things are going to get a lot worse before then. We do have the wonderful hope of the Kingdom to look forward to . . . The times we are living in can at times seem hopeless—that we have nothing to live for—but we as God's people have the hope of God's Kingdom to look forward to. We need to be filled with that hope in order to share it with others around us. We as young people can make a dramatic difference by our example and enthusiasm for life. Here's to life!!!" Michelle
As you have seen, our readers' perspectives are varied and insightful. Where will you be in 10 years? Do you think about your future and potential? One of the most elementary concepts revealed in the Bible is cause and effect. God said to Cain (the first young person on the planet mentioned in the Scriptures), "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it" (Genesis 4:7 Genesis 4:7If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him.
American King James Version×). Decisions you make now can have a long-lasting effect on your future. As a young person, God wants you to have joy and happiness by discovering the way of life that leads to eternal life in His Kingdom. Knowing this can make a huge difference in your life in 10 years and forever! VT