Every so often I go through a big learning phase, at the moment my attention has been focused on unschooling. I said it. Yes I am aware that images of hippies running wild with dreadlocks instantly comes to your mind, or perhaps worse. I’m currently fighting off the images myself. For some reason, and I’m not sure why yet, it appeals to me. It just feels right. Maybe I am actually a closet hippie – actually speaking of which, the other day I was on pinterest (as you do!) and there were quite a few hippie inspired outfits and such, and I wondered to myself whether that was something that I thought would ever appeal to me, and I dont think it is.. I’m more of a classic, clean cut with a bit of jazz going on now and again. Maybe I’m just a hippie with a better fashion sense. What makes a hippie a hippie… is it the clothes, the highness or the mindset – can I just be one third hippie, hmmm?
A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. – Proverbs 18.16
How do you figure out what you would like to do for the rest of your life and go after it without hesitation but complete assurance that you are on the right path?
“There’s an app for that” springs to mind, and quizzes, and career guidance counsellors and a million other avenues you can explore that promise to figure out what you should be doing with your life. I dont know about you, but I just dont have the patience for it. Maybe thats the problem 🙂
My husband has dedicated a huge chunk of his life to being a chef, he’s brilliant at it and at one stage was convinced that is what he would be doing for the rest of his life.. and then it changed. He still loves cooking and he would think twice before turning down a good chef job but I dont think that is where his passion lies anymore, so now what? How do you start over at the age of 34 with a wife and child in tow? How do you compete against people who have been working their way up the ladder for the last few years? Questions like these, when dwelt on too long, are like wet socks!
I am always brought back to that verse, Proverbs 18v16 but for the life of me I just dont know how you figure out what your talents are, my husband has many talents, I have at least a few talents – how do you decide which to pursue? How do you differentiate between a talent and a hobby because, to me, they both seem to be the same thing and its only after pursuing them do you figure out if you enjoy doing it as more than a hobby. Trust me, I’ve tried a few! And I still plod on…
“Do what you love”, if only it were that easy, my husband is the kind of guy who likes to break down cliches so he would most likely respond with “what if I love lying on the couch”… my only response, true dat! I still think there is a lot of truth in that simple statement.
Dr. Myles Munroe illustrated on Proverbs 16.18 and he said some things I really love,
“What you were designed to be known for is your gift. God has put a gift or talent in every person that the world will make room for. It will make a way for you in life. It is in exercising this gift that you will find real fulfillment, purpose, and contentment in your work.
It is interesting to note that the Bible does not say that a man’s education makes room for him, but that his gift does.
Somehow we have swallowed the idea that education is the key to success. Our families and societies have reinforced this idea to us, but we will have to change our perspective if we are to be truly successful.
Education is not the key to success. Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in education. However, if education were the key to success, then everyone who has a Ph.D. would be financially secure and happy.
If you are intelligent but are not exercising your gift, you’re probably going to be poor. If you’re educated but have not developed your talent, you’re likely going to be depressed, frustrated, and tired.Education, in itself, doesn’t guarantee anything. It is your gift that is the key to your success. The world won’t move over for you just because you’re smart. However, when you exercise your gift, not only will the world make room for you, but it will also pay you for it.”
I think the problem today is that we are raised with so many ideas of what should be important to us, which talents truly matter, that most of us are out of touch with what could possibly make us happy and provide us with our own identity and sense of meaning, as well as how to go about finding it.
David, the Shepard boy in the Bible, did not sit and strive to figure out what his talents were, or work day and night at trying to perfect an image of what he thought he should be, he just took what jobs he had at the moment and did the best he could with them, he did not try and pull strings or call in favors to get a job in the palace – it so happened that someone over heard him playing music (something he did simply because he loved to) and it afforded him the opportunity of a lifetime.
The best approach is to dedicate yourself to being the best that you can be. Not just when you’re trying on various “talents” or striving for “success,” but in every minute of every day. When you choose to give everything you have whether you’re auditioning, smiling at a homeless person on the street, applying to college, or being kind to at someone at school or work who feels lonely, you will start to recognize how powerful, versatile, and yes—talented—you really are.
If you are struggling to figure out what you are going to do with your life, here are some quotes from an amazing book I’ve read a few times called ‘Dare to Desire’ written by John Eldredge, I never get enough of reading this book!
- The clue to who we are and why we are here comes to us through our hearts desire. It’s common for our journey to begin with a sense of discontent, or of being lost. Instead of asking what you ought to do to become a better man or woman, ask what makes you come alive? What stirs your heart?
- 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 more people who have come alive.
- If you had permission to what you really want to do, what would you do? Don’t ask how – that will cut off your desire at the knees. How is never the right question. It means ‘unless I can see my way clearly I won’t venture forth.’ When the angel told Zacharias that his ancient wife would bear him a son, Zacharias asked how and was struck dumb for it. How is Gods department: He is asking you what. What is written in your heart? What makes you come alive?
- Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
- You may have heard an orchestra tuning up before a concert. It sounds like total chaos – obes, cellos, French horns, dozens of instruments all sounding off, everyone doing their own thing. This is how our desires seem most of the time. But then the first violin plays a long high C, and all the other instruments join in. They become focused, centered ready to perform. This is what happens with the chaos of our desires when we turn our souls to God in worship. When we delight in Him, he heals our false desires and our souls come true in the light of their creator.
- Contentment is not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire. To be content is not pretending that everything is the way you wish it would be, nor is it acting as though you have no wishes. Rather it is no longer being ruled by your desires.
- Sadly, many of us have been led to feel that somehow we ought to want less, not more. We have this sense that we should atone for our longings, apologize that we feel such deep desire. Shouldn’t we be more content? Perhaps, but contentment is not wanting less; that’s the easy way out. Anybody can look holy if he’s killed his heart; the real test is to have your heart burning within you and to have the patience to enjoy what there is now to enjoy, while waiting with eager anticipation for the feast to come.
Buy Dare to Desire here: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Invitation-Fulfill-Deepest-Dreams/dp/0849995914