Are you doing what you are supposed to do? Let’s talk about that.
Our Poor Children
When our boys were little we signed them up for soccer with a local league. We purchased the shirts and special colored socks and took them to practices and games. They had some fun, I think. When they were a little older we signed them up for baseball. One of them did NOT enjoy that. We pretty much required him to finish the season. It wasn’t fun for him and I’m fairly sure it was worse for us. But we did the sports thing for a time with them. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
No Bob Vila Here
I am perhaps the most unhandy man you’ll ever meet. When there is a leak in a pipe I can quickly turn it into a flood. I’m not great with a lot of DIY and frankly it’s not my favorite thing. But I do it when necessary. But the day after Sally and my 10th wedding anniversary we closed on buying our house. This made me the resident handy man. Not good. Why did we buy a house? Because it’s the American Dream. It’s what you are supposed to do.
You’re supposed to go to college, you’re supposed to get a good job, you’re supposed to work 40 or more hours a week whether you like your job or not, you’re supposed to get car payments. There are a lot of things we are supposed to do.
What Happened Recently
For the past several months I’ve been working and planning for a particular goal. When I first set the goal I thought it was a good thing. I was pretty sure it was what I was supposed to do. When Sally expressed concern that she didn’t see how it would work I came up with reasons why it would be fine. Reasons that I believed, mostly. But it’s become apparent to me lately that it’s not something I really want to do. Or at least not the thing I want to really make my focus. So it’s become a burden. The thing I thought at first I wanted to do, then came to the point where I believed it was what I was supposed to do was dragging me down. Emotionally, spiritually and in our relationship. It became a burden.
A Few Days Ago
Sally and I were talking about where we are and where we are going. I expressed how I was feeling about the issue. She said something very clear and piercing. “Why didn’t you tell me about this a long time ago?” Of course the answer was that I was afraid. I assumed that she also thought it was something I was supposed to do. But I found out that the truth is she wants me to do what I want to do. What I feel is right for how I am wired. For where God has me at this moment. She was so very understanding and gracious. As for me? I felt a HUGE release. The burden was gone. It’s been amazing! I feel reinvigorated. I sent an email to a trusted friend who has direct experience on both paths to get her input. She was all for the change and even suggested a method to make it go more smoothly. She showed Sally and me a non-public option that would soon be opening up, giving us an early chance to jump in if we liked. Here is a truth. When you take action to follow your passion God starts opening doors. When you take action to follow your passion God starts opening doors. Click To Tweet
The Moral of this Story
Here is what I have learned…again. God has uniquely created each of us with gifts, talents, passions and desires. He doesn’t want us to just survive, He wants us to live out our best life. But if we do what our peers, parents, or society expect us to do or even what we feel we are supposed to do then we are not living out the amazing life God has for us. Please let me clarify. The ability to do something well doesn’t mean you are required to do that thing. The ability to do something well doesn't mean you are required to do that thing. Click To Tweet When you align your gifts, talents, and passions with following after God then you will not only enjoy what you are doing you can be sure that God will make it help others in ways you could never have imagined.
Have I Missed My Chance?
Before I close out I do want to cover this point. You may feel as if you are too old to make a change. That too much of life has passed. But it’s not true. As long as you still have breath God has a great purpose for you!
“It is quite common and healthy to at any point in life, to draw a line in the sand and take a fresh look at who you are, what you are doing and where you want to go.“
-Dan Miller in 48 Days to the Work You Love
It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 88, God has you here for a reason…and it’s not to just survive. You are meant to thrive! So don’t do what you think you are “supposed to do.” Search your heart for what you know God has created you to do. One last note. Most of us believe that God has “called” us to do one specific job for our entire lives. While that may be true for a small percentage of people it’s generally not the case. As you learn and grow God may change the direction of your life several times…and that’s ok. Don’t confuse your passions and gifts with your job. Your passions and gifts are applicable to many different jobs, or to other models such as freelancing, contracting or entrepreneurship. So don’t do what you are supposed to do, do instead what you were created to do.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.“
Love you all!