My husband just started a new career (cue balloons and glitter). The transition is completely scary, exciting and filled with so many opportunities for the future. But I’d be lying if I said that artificial turf was his absolute passion. Clay completely loved his old job as bar manager at an upscale beach front restaurant. He got to be on his feet, connect with patrons and provide for our family while allowing me to be a stay at home mom. It was a great position for him and we were able to save during his years there.
When he announced his choice to pursue something new, many people had their concerns and voiced their hesitations. If you love what you do, why do something else? It’s hard to imagine someone actively choosing to leave a job they love, especially when “pursuing your passion” is a highlight of the American dream. Do what makes you happy and go after your dreams are common themes in conversations today regarding career choices. But these ideas of pursuing your passion may be inspiring the wrong message.
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Pursuing Your Passion & Why it’s Not Always a Good Thing
Have you ever considered what your true passions are? My passions are to create through crafting and art. I love seeing something beautiful made from humble supplies and being proud of the final product. But art isn’t always the most financially supportive and for many of us the reality of pursuing our passion just simply isn’t fee-sable. But the idea of pursuing your passion goes deeper than just your wallet. It also dives deep into the Biblical way in which Christians are called to live.
Pursuit of Purpose Over Passion
In the Bible happiness< holiness, and in the case of careers, holiness and obedience go hand in hand. Simply put, we each have a purpose according to God’s calling for our lives. That doesn’t always necessarily mean that God’s calling for our life is directly in line with our own desires.
In a perfect world our desires should be the same as God’s. But since we are fallible through sin our wants often deviate from God’s plan. This is why we should be pursuing our purpose over our passions.
Recognizing God’s Plan Over our Own
When my husband decided to pursue a career with Scan Turf and leave the comfort of bar-tending even we questioned this bold move. What about finances? Is this the right move for us before welcoming our second child? But through a great deal of prayer the answer was obvious: yes. It was what Clay was being called to do, and we felt at peace knowing this was his purpose in this season.
God knows what is best for us, and when we ignore his desire for our own selfish passion we completely miss the beauty of His plan! The doors that slam shut are mistaken for obstacles to overcome, rather than God’s hand in leading us in a new direction. We can easily become self-absorbed in our own plan to the point that we are blinded to the bigger picture.
Knowing Your Purpose
It is incredible to know that God created each of us for a different purpose. Just as we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 12, the Church itself is made of many parts, with many various purposes.
“If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:19-20
You were created for such a wonderful and impactful purpose! But sometimes understanding what that purpose is seems really difficult to discern. Here are a few key tips to discovering your purpose according to God’s calling for your life:
- Being Prayerful
- Knowing God’s Voice
- Being Obedient
Communication is key to any relationship, and our walk with God is no different. Praying is a wonderful opportunity to ask God for answers you should be seeking.
- What is it He wants you to do?
- Where is He calling you?
- When will that opportunity be presented?
During mine and Clay’s prayer journey through this new job opportunity we asked God to make it obvious if He wanted Clay to take this position. We prayed that God would close the door if it wasn’t where He wanted him to be, and if it was then make each step clear.
Guess what? He answered in exactly the way we asked. And regardless of the way in which God answers your prayers, you can be certain He will answer.
Knowing God’s Voice
Being prayerful is important, but it’s equally important to discern God’s voice. It can be really easy for the enemy to sneak his voice into big life decisions! And he masks his schemes through you. This is why pursuing your passion isn’t always the best idea. Satan can effortlessly mislead you against the plans God has for you, and pursuing your passion over purpose is a slippery slope down a steep hill.
That’s why knowing God’s voice in the process makes it so much easier. Practice hearing God’s voice. In your prayers request that God open your ears to hear Him and to shut out the voice of the enemy. God won’t deny you the opportunity to draw near to Him and hear His voice.
Sometimes we don’t ask questions we don’t want the answers to. And in my walk with Christ I find that statement to still be true. When I feel as though God is calling me out of my comfort zone, I tend to ignore it because nobody likes to feel uncomfortable. But when we ignore God’s voice He tends to get louder.
Remember Jonah? God gave him specific directions, he ignored God and ended up getting thrown off a ship, eaten by a giant whale and spit out right where God wanted him in the first place. Wouldn’t it have been easier if Jonah listened to God’s directions in the first place?
The same can be said of us. Maybe that financial stress, that broken relationship, or heartache could have been avoided if we were prayerfully seeking God’s voice and being obedient to His guidance. Maybe instead of pursuing our passion, we should have been obedient to our calling.
Like I said, God doesn’t call us to be happy, He wants us to be holy. That often means seeking answers that may make us uncomfortable and being obedient to that calling.
When Purpose Becomes Passion
The awesome thing about being obedient to God’s purpose for your life is that over time that will become your passion! Your desire will be for God’s desire when you are actively seeking his will.
I won’t say it was an easy journey for Clay to leave his old job. It had been a year of prayer for God to prepare his heart to be open to leaving when the moment presented itself. But through it all God was faithful. And He is always faithful. It’s simply up to us to be obedient, listen for God’s voice and put our selfish desires aside. Only then are we able to see the true beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and pursue our purpose according to the body of Christ.