And Then What?

What good is it for someone
to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
                                     —Mark 8:36

The day Frederick Buechner graduated from Princeton, a fellow student asked each graduate, “What are you going to do now?”

Buechner said it was an unnerving question because of the long-range implication: what are you going to do with the rest of your life?

When William Gladstone was prime minister of Great Britain, a young man approached him for advice. Gladstone asked him what his plans were.

“I’m going to complete my studies at Oxford,” he said.

“And then what?” asked Gladstone.

“I hope to study law and become a successful barrister.”

“And then what?”

“I hope to be like you and become prime minister someday.”

“And then what?”

“I guess I will retire.”

“And then what?”

“Well, I suppose I will one day die.”

“That you will, young man, that you will. And then what?”

A good question: “And then what?”

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