February 2, 2019 • Life for Leaders
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Standing in line at the grocery store, I noticed a young man behind me. He was probably in his late twenties, early thirties. Just like my son. He wore a hoodie that said, “New York Film Academy.” I read the words out loud to the owner of the hoodie, and then I started to ask, “Did you go there?” But he cut me off.
“I didn’t go. I just have the sweatshirt. I got accepted, but I didn’t go.”
“What happened?” I asked him.
“I guess I chickened out.”
“Was it the whole NYC thing that threw you off?”
“Nope,” he answered. “I grew up in Manhattan.”
Before I could form a response, he jumped in to fill what must have felt like awkward space. “I really just think I chickened out.”
“No biggie,” I answered. “What are you doing now?”
He shifted his weight, shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans and said, “I work in IT.”
“Okay.” I hoped my disappointment didn’t show. I don’t have anything against IT. In fact, I am grateful for people who work in IT, but I wasn’t sure IT was this young man’s passion. “Do you love it?” I asked him. I knew I was meddling, but he seemed open, so I waited for his response.
“Well. No.” He chuckled. I did, too. “I guess,” he said, “I don’t really think a person should make a living doing their passion.”
My heart sank. I have had the jobs that are passion-less rituals of meetings and projects and lunches and annual reviews and disappointing but acceptable raises and days filled with mindlessness. That kind of work has its positives (hello, benefits), but never enough to make me want to jump out of bed in the morning. Maybe you’ve had a job like that, too. Maybe you’re in one, now? If so, maybe it’s out of necessity, and I think there’s something to that. Maybe that’s the story of that young man in the grocery store. But I do hope and pray for passion, too.
Sometimes, a job is just a job. It pays the bills. It keeps our kids in school. It keeps a roof over our heads. If that’s the case, I think Jesus would be in favor of finding a hobby or a pastime or a part-time something that fuels your passion, too. A job will keep us afloat in a culture that relies on money. But passion ignites more passion, and that’s what makes each day a gift.
Something to Do:
Answer this question: If you could do anything and you knew you would not fail, what would that one thing be?
Something to Think About:
Are you living your passion? Why, or why not? How do you feel about the idea of living your passion?