Walking in Your Passion While Still Being Useful

November 1, 2014

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“May I never lose the wonder, oh the wonder of your mercy”.

This line from Matt Redman’s song Mercy has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

Grace is my passion.

It is my One Big Thing.
It is what brings tears to my eyes when I see its absence.
It truly is the truth which gets me out of bed in the morning.

As Andy Stanley said at the recent Catalyst Conference, “It is what I want people to line up to thank me for at the end of my life.”

I am looking for a larger portion of the opportunities I say “yes” for, to flow through the lens of grace.

“Can I make an impact (in my passion) in this area?”

On the flip side, I’ve been around long enough to know if everyone does only their passion, there are a lot of necessary, but not so fun jobs left.

In her book, The Organic God, Margaret Feinberg put this in very clever way.

“Recently I stumbled on this gold mine: “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14:14 (NASB) Written in a language of a farmer, this proverb offers a powerful business lesson: Sometimes work stinks, but keep it up because it will lead to profit. While I love writing, I don’t enjoy some aspects. I would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than develop a book proposal or align footnotes in a manuscript. This Scripture insinuates that any job worth doing has its poopy parts – whether you’re a college student, a writer, a farmer, a minister, or an executive for a Fortune 500 company.”

How do we blend the “poopy” parts of life with living out our passion?

Here are some thoughts:

1. Consider every opportunity prayerfully. This applies for both areas. For me, I need to see if the option helps me walk in my passion of grace. Equally, I need to ask God if there are areas not specifically tied to my passion which he is calling me to serve and meet a need.

2. Don’t say yes to everything. Yes being the default answer will lead to being out of balance in these areas. Too many “poopy” parts and we will be frustrated and unfulfilled. Too many passion parts and we will fly above it all and lose our relevance.

3. Break time into manageable parts. Look at each week, month, and year. Make sure there is a balance in your life in these intervals. Otherwise we end up so far down the road, course correction is difficult.

4 Realize both these areas are spiritual. One is not our calling and the other our burden. Keeping this perspective can help us find joy in a variety of tasks.

How about you? Do you have a healthy balance in your life of pursuing your passions and embracing the “poopy” parts of service?

This is a continual journey, not a one-time event. I need this reminder frequently on my journey.

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God

2 responses to Walking in Your Passion While Still Being Useful

  1. I tend to say yes much too often and don’t always consider everything with prayer. Your blog reminded me that I need to pray for the little things as well as the major/important ones, and to say “No” before I get too overwhelmed.

    • Thanks for sharing Connie. It is so easy for those little things to pile up and we find ourselves our of balance. Blessings in your journey to grow in this