ON "DOING WHAT YOU LOVE"
There’s so much blogging advice these days on “doing what you love.” Take risks, dare to break out of the mold of the ordinary. Stop being so afraid of failure that you don’t even try to reach your dreams. Live beyond the confines of a quiet, safe, boring-but-maybe-secure life.
The importance of “living a meaningful story in life” may mean quitting a secure job to try out some secret longing with unknown financial rewards. Or it might be keeping a full time job but adding many extra hours of side-projects. So often, admonitions tend towards getting up earlier in the morning, or squeezing in extra hours that might be otherwise considered wasted. But the writers of these, succeeded in fulfilling their passions. They were strong enough, persistent enough, disciplined enough, and entrepeneurial enough to work more hours and earn enough money to live on while “doing what they love”, which often turns out to be to follow the muse of art, writing, music, or a higher college degree.
It sounds to me more like self-effort when the advice is –“Dare to become all that God created you to be”, or, “don’t settle for mediocre when you can do great things”. Some of us (including myself), are unable to attain more strength and prowess by using up more hours and more strenuous activities. The list includes the tired mother of an infant, the man whose education wasn’t complete, the one whose mind is incomplete, the person who ages before their time, or lives with chronic illness or in abject poverty – and many other people. It’s not necessarily because they’re unwilling to risk or afraid of failure, but that they lack the strength to “do more and more.”
I yearn to write lots of books, and work on wonderful paintings. I ache to build relationships in “community”. Oh, I had so many dreams for a creative life. I wanted to go deep in my walk with God and willingly help others. But the circumstances of my life have all too often interrupted the way of life I’d hoped to live. So I’m choosing not to write books. But I do hope to respond occasionally to the cries of others. For the sake of my limited health, I do the simpler art of operating a graphics program when I’d rather be making masterpieces with oils on canvas, and teaching others to do the same.
As for me realizing a goal of “becoming all God created me to be”, well, fortunately God is far bigger than my feeble self-effort. And he’s quite capable of making me all he intended for me to be, all on his own. I thank him and praise him that I’m still alive, still willing to learn, and still choosing to be hopeful (though I don’t always succeed at this).
When He greets me as I get to heaven, is he going to ask me if I “created a meaningful story” to add to HIS story? I don’t think so. But I do hope he’ll say, “Blessings on you for making an effort to look to Me in spite of every obstacle you’ve endured. I’ve been your Savior, Helper, Friend, Guide, Comforter, and more. Enter into My rest.” And resting in Him, will certainly be “Doing What I Love.”
images and text (c) 2013 by Marilee Miller
This post is shared with Laura Boggess