This time last year, I was still a ballet dancer. I haven’t talked about it much in a long while, but I’m suddenly remembering where I was July 2016: dancing literally 24/7 and aiming for a career as a professional dancer.
I wrote a more in-depth post on this in December, but, long story short, I got injured and had to stop dancing. And — trust me — when you stop doing something that you’d been doing nonstop for a long time, it feels really weird/horrible = rough months and moments of feeling utterly lost.
“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake wil find it.”
That really got me thinking about callings and passions.
I don’t know about you, but it seems that we’re always trying to find our lives, find that “thing” we’re meant to do. You know, the one that we’re awesome and talented at and will eventually change the world with. That duty that God gives us to undertake so that at the end of our lives we can hear Him say “Well done good and faithful servant, you did what I told you to do.”
And hey, who doesn’t want that? We’re all in a mad scramble to find that thing, especially if we’re teenagers/young adults. It’s like there’s this big box of gadgets in the corner and we’re rifling through it, trying things out, trying to find “the one.”
And I thought that for me, ballet was “the one.” Then I found it wasn’t, and since then have been pondering what it exactly means to find that “thing.”
If I haven’t already made it clear, I mean “that thing” in regards to a talent or a passion, like doing mission trips or starting an amazing organization or being a pastor or perhaps a best-selling author. And we’re all sorting through The Things looking for The Thing and when we find The Thing then we can finally get on with our lives, pursue The Thing with all our being, and be faithful servants. But if we haven’t found that Thing then we’re failures, wandering, lost, and cannot be faithful servants at all… right?
Sometimes I feel that way about writing. Like, it’s My Thing and I can’t do anything else if I want to be a Faithful Servant.
But we are not One Thing
We are not simply “Algebra Masters” or “Poet Champions” or “Motivational Speakers” or whatever-else-it-is-you-call-your-passion-and-the-one-thing-you-like-to-do.
God isn’t going to hand us this One Thing and say “Servant, you must use this to serve Me. If you use anything else, you are not being faithful to me.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m a lot more than One Thing. I’m a novelist. I’m a poet. I’m a nature lover, a blogger, a dreamer. I like helping people and bringing light to the world and making people laugh and smile and spreading truth and don’t like one more than the other.
And all of this comes to the awesome yet sometimes frightening realization that: you are more than One Thing, so God is going to use you in more than One Way.
So maybe the next couple of years for me are going to be about writing. Right now, I can’t imagine ever wanting to do something else. Which leads me to what I always have to remember:
don’t hold on to dreams too tightly.
My mom has the greatest imagery for this: picture your dream in your hand. If you grip it too tightly and God tries to take it away — guess what? You trip and fall trying to keep hold of it, and (since it’s impossible to out-wrestle God) you end up on the ground with no dream wondering what is wrong.
On the other hand, if you keep that dream in open hands, and if God takes it, you’ll be left wondering what happened, but you’ll still be upright, knowing it was taken for a reason.
Dreams come and go, passions come and go. My goals are always shifting as I try to articulate just what God wants me to do.
But actually — I’m doing it. Right now. Not just tomorrow or ten years from now or five years ago. Every moment, we can use our talents and our Things to be faithful servants to Him.
And no matter how many dreams get taken away by Him, of this I am sure:
The best is yet to come.
Seriously. Sometimes I just look back on the short life I’ve lived so far and realize that everything has gotten better and better. That might sound strange, but really, think about it: even if you go through deep valleys and dark times, it’s always brighter on the other side. And even if the valleys keep getting darker, the summits keep getting brighter until — guess what? — you’re in God’s presence and He’s saying “Well done good and faithful servant, you did what I told you to do.”
This post was all over the place. But, basically, I’ve just come to the awesome, freeing realization that even if my dreams ever change — which they might one day — even then, the one One Thing I need to do is love and serve God. Even if dreams die and suddenly I can’t do a Thing, the best is still yet to come.