Monday, September 1, 2008

Follow your passion

Google the following phrase:
Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.' Gil Bailie
and you will discover several pages of people who find it a source of inspiration. I found it on a friend's Facebook profile, and thought I'd check it out.
I think what caught my attention was that it says something quite similar to how I prefaced some remarks I made yesterday at a fellowship called 'The Sheep'.
I hadn't planned on starting out that way. It was one of those moments when you can hardly keep up with the words coming out of your own mouth fast enough to keep the heresy filter in place. If I can remember the gist of what I was saying, it was along the lines of:
“If you really aren't enjoying what you are doing in life, you are probably missing out on a lot of what God intends for you. He has given you skills and passions, and if you aren't using them, you are probably bored, depressed, or stressed. If you are using them, you will be enjoying your life and work more, and will be closer to how God intended you to be. “
We had sung 'Shout to the Lord ' and 'Jesus, all for Jesus' during worship, and the following lines had really stuck out in my spirit:
'Let every breath, all that I am, Never cease to worship You.' (Shout to the Lord, by Darlene Zschech)
'Jesus, all for Jesus; All I am and have, and ever hope to be.' (Jesus, all for Jesus by Robin Mark)

And it wasn't a sense of “I have to give everything up, to lose all my personal identity in order for God to be blessed in and through my life”, but “I have to really use everything I have been given, be truly myself in order for God to really be lifted up through my life.”

God has given us skills, gifts, passions, talents, urges, and dreams. We really aren't going to feel fulfilled until these things start happening in our day to day lives. If you are a frustrated musician, working as a software designer you might be making good money but not feel like you are really making a difference in the world. You would likely feel much better about yourself, and recognize your place in God's kingdom if you quit your good job and become the musician you always felt you wanted to be.
Now I realize you should think it through a bit, count the cost of giving up a good paying job, and all of that, but personal fulfillment (or using your talents, or following your passions) will give you more satisfaction in life than making money. Besides, if you really want to be obedient to God, doesn't it make sense that you should be doing the things He planned from the beginning for you to do? Why else do you think you have musical skills, and a desire to be able to move people with your music?
(If you follow my advice, and it works, I'll be happy to share the glory. If you end up losing everything, playing guitar on the street, it wasn't my idea!)

So, I agree with the quote from Gil Bailie.
Do what makes you come alive.
It will energize you. It will multiply the effect of your life. It will make the world a better place.

I can see how it has been happening in my life. I'm feeling more alive and fulfilled now as a volunteer missionary than when I was working my way up the corporate ladder. I know I am making the world a better place (at least the little part of the world I am in). I know more of my gifts and passions are being used. And I think people around me can probably see that I am more alive.

1 comment:

2Pete said...

Al, thanks for the testimony! Great to meet you, and thanks for visiting me at!


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