Shoestring or Canvas

I’ll admit it.  I’m a little late to the new year’s feel good, motivational, power list of success building tools, blog party.  And that’s probably where this particular post will land, categorically speaking.  My thoughts, with regard to “Shoestring or Canvas,” have been inspired from a variety of sources. While I may not always proclaim boldly the sources from which a particular thought stream evolved, in this case they are certainly worth mentioning. The first component was an interview I heard on a Catalyst podcast with Jon Acuff the author of  Quitter, and other books.  The second component was from another podcast; Part 3: God’s Great Mission For My Life, a message by Rick Warren from the December 3rd 2011 Saddleback Church podcast.

Similar to other people, I find myself working a “day job” while pursing my true passion/calling on the side when I think I have the time.  Does that sound as crazy to you as it does to me?  Isn’t one supposed to live their dream job and pursue hobbies, or deal with the trivialities of life on the side.  Listening to Jon Acuff’s interview on Catalyst, which touched on his book Quitter – “closing the gap between your day job and your dream job,” hit me right between the ears.  No, I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, but it’s on my soon-to-read list.  Just the idea of needing to close the gap on living my passion and reversing the reality of my day and dream jobs stirred the stagnancy within my soul.  What am I doing, What do I want to be doing, and what am I actually doing, rather than just thinking about doing, to get there?

I have to ask myself, and while I’m at it I may as well throw it out to you as well; am I (you) following Adam and Eve’s reflexive pattern of response to sin.  Or, am I (you) willing to stop dangling from the shoestring of safety and start actively, and creatively painting the canvas of my (your) personal dreamscape?  Does it seem too harsh to call working a day job, as opposed to pursuing one’s passion, sin?  Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.  Let’s look at Adam and Eve’s reflexive response to sin, and then you can determine for yourself.

Instead of confessing their sin, i.e. dealing with the reality of their situation, Adam and Eve:   1) tried to hide from God.  They ran away from reality.  They shuffled their personal circumstance, the loss of their dreams, to back of their minds and priorities;  2) They became evasive and deceitful.  Once they couldn’t hide anymore, they tried to rationalize and outright lie to themselves and God.  3)  They shifted blame and responsibility for their actions rather than appealing for mercy. They blamed conditions, circumstances, and each other rather than owning their failure.

If one threads the day job -vs- dream job metaphor to Jesus parable of the talents, along with Adam and Eve’s reflexive response to sin, a potential pattern of negligence begins to emerge.  It’s not the clearest of lines.  Life throws obstacles in our paths that cannot always be bulldozed with black and white, straight line reasoning.  Does not following your dreams constitute disobedience to the what God has asked of you?  Are your dreams and passions clues to the puzzle of God’s destiny for your personal contribution to His Kingdom here on Earth?  This is certainly something to ponder.

Going beyond the day job -vs- dream job metaphor, listening to Rick Warren lay out some of Saddleback’s visionary plans for 2012 sent another ripple through my thought stream.  As he explained Saddleback’s plan to plant 12 base camp churches in various countries through-out the world, I was struck by a depressing and yet motivational thought; my life is not structured in such a way that I could pick-up and move at a moments notice so that I could be used by God anywhere at anytime.  I began to ask myself, what is the scope and potential of my dreamscape canvas?  As I begin to reverse the roles of day jobs and dream jobs in my life shouldn’t I also look at the larger picture.  How will my dream job, passion, or calling, fit into God’s greater plan for bringing humanity into relationship with Christ?  Can I, or should I prepare myself, my lifestyle, and my streams of income, in such a way that I could go anwhere, and do anything, anytime for Christ?  Would it be a sin not to structure my life in such a fashion?

These are some of the thoughts and questions I find myself grappling with as I adventure forth into 2012.  You may or may not want to join me on the tug-of-war rope of spiritual and practical prioritization.  Feel free to join me.  I welcome comments.

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