Some more than others.
I don’t care if you are a mom, dad, single, married, retired, preacher, artist, or maker of Post-It Notes.
We all ache about it from time to time.
We all wonder if we are living how we should. We struggle with this question: Am I doing the thing I’m supposed to do? The thing I was created to do? Is it in my job? or volunteer work? or as a family member? or friend? What is the thing that no one else can do except me in my own special unique authentic way?
Did you get that last part? You. Special. Unique. Authentic.
You are the only one that can do it. It’s true. Whatever “it” is.
SO ARE YOU DOING IT?
A salary won’t prove it.
Neither will a diploma, or a second degree, or another certification program.
Those initials tagged on after your name? Nope.
And if you are looking for someone else’s approval and praise—ehh-ehh, that’s not gonna work either.
There is not one single thing outside of yourself that is gonna answer that question for you.
It’s unfair. Right?
How are you supposed to know? For sure.
The truth is, the only way you can ease, dare I say, end the ache, is to get bluntly honest with yourself and your Maker. You have to ask yourself what is my thing? What am I passionate about?
Lets say you’ve recently become passionate about something you just discovered—something you’d never really done before—let’s say writing. And not once did you take up writing in your childhood or teen years. Never. Then please don’t let that fool you. There is a good chance it’s simply a new hobby you’re head-over-heals about. To put it blankly, it’s a lot like lust. It’s new. It’s hot. It’s heavy. Don’t get that confused with your thing. Your passion.
Go back to when you were a kid. There was something. And I don’t care how dumb it sounds. You rocked Lego’s? SWEET! Did you have tons of friends? Did you eat playdough, paste, and crayons? (look, I’m raising my hand) Or were you that kid that told wild stories—okay lies? Look that’s a hidden “thing”—don’t doubt it.
Don’t doubt it for a moment.
The quirky thing that is uniquely you, IS a part of the puzzle.
CASE IN POINT
My brother. He was a story-teller. Now I was a bold-faced liar, but not a story telling liar like him. He had fantastical ramblings about all types of things. Lions under the house, in a bush, praying mantis that bit him, a strange grumpy farmer that chased him with a gun, snakes in the walnut tree, pennies smashed on the train track (everyone knows you NEVER find your penny after the train passes, NEVER). The list goes on. And he told these stories with passion and surety. Convincing! And I often believed him.
As he grew older, he used his passion for story in the theater. I suppose it helped that he could hold a tune with great accuracy, and that he had a decent falsetto. But as he was memorizing the script—he was living that story. And it showed in his acting. He was believably that character. I hate to say it—but he really rocked.
Then he got off path. Football, jocks, fast cars, crazy stunts, construction work, etc… And yeah, it worked for him—for a while. But I think the stories were still in him. Now and then I’d see glimpses of his passion for story when the family got together. If anyone can retell an event—he can. And he’d bring out every bit of humor and emotion in the process. We were captivated by him.
Then one day he cut his finger off, and a couple other things took place that had him done with construction work. As he left for seminary I swore he’d gone off the deep end.
Wow, was I ever wrong.
Little did I know he was getting back to his passion. I even wonder if he really even knew what was going on. All I know is he was being obedient to something he felt called to (again I thought he was nuts).
And again. Wow, was I ever wrong.
Today is he a senior pastor with some pretty amazing messages. While we live thousands of miles apart—in some ways I attend his church. Because I can listen to his messages online. And trust me, it’s not because I like listening to random church messages—but it’s because I like hearing him tell story. Of course now they are all true stories—retelling of events in ways that bring out every bit of humor and emotion in the process. He tells stories that open people up to hope, and grace, and truth.
ON TARGET DOESN’T MEAN IT’S EASY STREET
He’s on course. On target. And yet, I know sometimes, he still aches. Because whatever “posse” is against your Maker, is the very “posse” that would like you to stop doing your thing. There’s a boatload of reasons–but that’s a different post.
Just trust me. You doubting means the bad guys win. The “posse” needs to you doubt so you will fail. And give up.
You’ll notice that someone else will be better than you. Get more recognition. Earn a bucket load more money.
And sometimes what you do falls flat. And junk happens. And you start to second-guess everything.
And when that happens, you just have to trust that you are honestly doing the thing you were made to do. Because it was in you all along. You can see it was always there.
So if for some reason my brother stopped being a preacher at his church. Or you stopped doing that thing you know is your unique authentic passion. Don’t panic.
God has something else. He always does. And in some crazy way that you simply can’t fathom right now—you’ll land back in a circumstance where you can be doing the very thing that only you can do.
So do you know what that is?
I hope you do, and I hope you are rocking “it” !!
(and, I kid you not, if you don’t know, and if you’re tired of the ache, maybe there’s something you and I can do to help you see what it really could be)