As the days, weeks, and months of this summer have gone by I have honestly grown more and more frustrated with the Almighty and His seeming lack of care in revealing to me which divinely ordained path I should pursue. For the life of me I have not understand how such a powerful and loving God could listen to His child surrender and plead and not say SOMETHING. Around August 1 this frustration had reached an all time high...or low....depending on how you look at it. For a second I thought, what if I just did whatever I wanted? Then I read this by Donald Miller. And I thought about it; what would I draw?
The older I get the more I feel drawn to pursue LIFE. I don't know if you'll know what I mean by that. You know that feeling where you just know you're living? When there feels like there's an electricity in the air? You feel energized, peaceful, excited, nervous, scared, and calm all at once. I have experienced seasons in my life where I felt like I was living and seasons where I certainly did not. The seasons of living did not always involve excitement and adventure. No, sometimes they consisted of work, favorite TV shows, weekly grocery store trips, walks in the park, lots of baking, and getting up in the middle of the night to take puppies outside to potty. For me, that season, was LIVING and I ate it up. So, I guess what I mean by "living" has less to do with what you're doing and more to do with the energy, passion, and contentment with what you're doing. Which doesn't mean it will be easy, it just shouldn't make you utterly and totally drained and miserable.
Still, what was jumbling around in my head was: how does all of this coincide? How do I follow God's will for my life while also pursuing what makes me feel alive? Are they one and the same? Sometimes? Always? How to tell the difference? "Follow your heart" is a cliche saying and one that I think is often abused. I would never advocate following your heart when it is based upon pure emotion and immaturity. People make a lot of stupid decisions based on immature and/or selfish emotions. Correction: I have made a lot of stupid decisions based on immature and selfish emotions. However, I believe that God puts passions and desires in our hearts for a reason and that He does want us to pursue them.
For a while, as I had been struggling with my frustration with God, I had perhaps been hearing Him say in a little whisper, "you are making this too complicated". Imagine that. So rewind back to my moment of thinking, what would I do if I could do anything? - I came to a conclusion. And the funny thing is, it's been a recurring theme in my life, something I've known all along, something I've even believed God told me before. But here I was making the situation infinitely more complicated by thinking about what I could do or should do instead of what I wanted to do. Sometimes God will ask us to do things that we do not want to do, but if He hasn't asked you to do that I don't think you should torture yourself with something you hate doing just because you think you should. No one can do every good thing and God created you to do good things, so find which good things He created YOU to do.
The things that we call our passions, talents, or hobbies are really God's gifts to us, His markers on the path to living life to the fullest on this earth. What do you love to do? Paint, write, run, bake, sew, decorate, swim, play golf, fix cars, play an instrument, talk to people, teach kids, listen, help in a crisis, animal rights, travel? There's a way to do it to God's glory and that's exactly why He gave it to you - for your joy and His glory. Be creative. Dream. Plan (and submit your plans to the Lord's leadership). Go. Do. Enjoy. And thank God for this little sliver of LIFE that He has revealed to you. I know you may have to work a 9-5 that is not your passion in order to pay the bills, but in your free time and whenever possible, LIVE.