People…you are going to laugh because I’ve sung this song before…but I’ve finally made peace with the career confusion that has held a
less-than-cherished place in my life ever since the first time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I had no idea how to answer the question.
Because when I was at Making Things Happen, (and, by the way, who is up for The Challenge??? come on, people!) I kept hearing myself say the same thing over and over when we were asked what we wanted to make happen. And, as per above paragraph, I had no idea how to answer that question. Everyone else had really great answers – businesses and goals and families - and I admittedly went without a tangible item to make happen. But one thing made it’s way from my heart to my lips all day long and shocked me with it’s fervor:
I want to live a life that is faithful to the Lord and to who He created me to be.
That is my career.
God did not design me to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. He did not place a single dream in my heart that was meant to be followed directly to a paycheck. He did not give me an easy answer for what to do and how to do it.
I’ve not been a fan of that decision. But finally, I am so grateful for it.
Because what He did give me was a passion for a thousand different things: writing, photography, beauty in any and all forms, magazines, food, food photography, laughter, mentoring, encouraging, love, love, love, athletic challenges, running, design, color, FOOTBALL! He gave me the gift of passion – that overwhelming nose-to-toes fire about everything from oatmeal to peonies to Lambeau Leaps. And He gave me the gift of Himself; the gift of knowing Him personally and daily seeking to know Him more.
Those two things? Desiring faithfulness to the Lord and faithfulness to the real person He created me to be? More than enough. They are more than enough. What more could I possibly ask for?
So if that means that I live in Rochester and do a handful of jobs that’s ok because the people I love live in this state and I know where all the best food lives too. And if that means that I move south to see the sun for more than 3 months a year then glory, glory, hallelujah, I’ll start rejoicing and praying for my hair to suddenly be able to withstand humidity with more than mild success. If that means that I go to Green Bay and line up to shovel snow from the stadium on weekends and dress in nothing but green and gold from August – February then I’ll be sure to pack tissues because we all know how well the first trip went as far as buckets of joyful tears are concerned.
What that means is that I finally believe Galatians 5:
22-23But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
There is no grand conclusion. I do not now nor will I ever have a job title to attach to the question, “But what do you want to do?”. All I know is that I want to do this:
12-13 So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today—live a good life.
[ Deuteronomy 10:12-13 ]
That’s all. And that’s enough.