I was talking to someone who wasn't very happy with how her life seemed to be turning out. I took the opportunity to tell her a wonderful story I heard a few years ago from a good friend from church, whom I'll call John Doe. John is a cheerful, brilliant guy with a wicked sense of humor (directed mostly at himself), a high-ranking business executive who puts his devout Christianity into practice every day. The story also indirectly involves John Doe's oldest child, whom I'll call Bill, who was a teen-ager at the time.
I'm going to retell John Doe's story my own way, so I can't rule out that I might be varying or embellishing it a bit. What John said was basically this:
"I once went through a period when I seriously doubted whether I was doing what I ought to be doing with my life. It was a real concern for me.
"Then one night I had a dream. In the dream, I was talking to God. I told him about my concern.
"Lord,' I said, 'I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Can you please give me some kind of clue?'
"And in my dream God actually answered me. He said, 'You just don't get it, do you, John?'
"I said, 'What do you mean, Lord?'
God said, 'It's not about you — it's about Bubba Doe.'
"I said 'Bubba Doe? Who's that?'
"God said, 'That's Bill's grandson, your great-grandson. He'll be born about 50 years from now.
"'I have a specific job in mind for Bubba to do, John,' God continued. 'What you're doing with your life is some of the prep work that needs to be done before that. So relax, already.'
"I woke up feeling wonderful."
[Edited for length 2013-08-02]