I often ask myself, “Is what I’m doing helping the world? Is it helping others? Is it bringing people to have abetter life in some way?”
For the last year, well 10 months which isn’t technically a year, but close enough, I have been on the job hunt. I’ve sent out dozens of resumes, filled out applications all over the area and so far it has been crickets. In case you don’t know what that means – it’s so quiet I can hear the crickets chirping. I’m no longer the type of Christian who mumbles to myself those comforting words, “If it’s meant to be, you will find a job.” or “It’s all God’s timing.” It’s not that I don’t believe the truth found in those thoughts, because I do think that God intervenes in our lives and I do believe the deeper truth of the “if it’s meant to be” statement, but right now if I buy into those words I’m scared I will become lazy or better yet I will fall into the American Dream.
The American Dream I’m speaking of is not the work hard to be rich or rags to riches mentality. The dream I’m referencing is watching men and women work jobs they hate that in the end don’t really do anything for the greater good, so to speak. For the majority of American’s we work jobs we really don’t like, but we stomach because they pay the bills and some pay the bills better than others. Then there is the other side of the coin… what do these jobs do? Does the company you work for make responsible decisions about our world? or are they built and thrive off of the bottom line without regard for people, employees, the environment, future generations, etc? Are you getting paid because of the sale of greed or because the world is a better place because of what you offer?
I know what many of you are thinking… this isn’t practical thought. We can’t select or jobs by whether or not the company isn’t greedy or whether it supports ethical treatment of employees in other countries or this or that. I have bills to pay. I can’t be worried about where my shirt is made.
My mind is plagued with optimism, with hope. I am one of those crazy people that actually tell people to stop going to college because they are miserable and would rather be doing something else. I am a part of that crazy tribe that believes with all of my heart that you can do what you love and get paid to do it. Or hell, you can do what you love and not get paid to do it, so you take a job with a company that actually does some sort of good.
I am insane enough to think that if half of us were doing what we were passionate about, or at least loved, the world would be a much healthier place in every aspect.
And more than anything, I’m hopeful that with a little bit of hard work and a few sleepless nights here and there I can be doing something I have been wanting to do for a long time.
So, I’m going to start this new year with a fresh, clean slate. This year will be the beginning of a new voyage for me toward a distant horizon. Along the way, it is a certainty that I will work myself tired, be refueled and keep going. The sea will be choppy. I will encounter storms I’m not sure how to navigate. But. The destination lies ahead and I’m refusing to stop now.
There will be a day when my profession helps those I encounter. It will be a joyous day to earn a living knowing that what I’m doing matters. I long for the day when I can relax with my family knowing they are provided for and that I’m able to do so in a way that leaves the world in better shape as I lay down to rest every night.
Sometimes, pursuing the American Dream of a comfy retirement, nice house, reliable cars, well groomed family, and the other nine yards just leads you to working a job you hate in hopes that one day, just maybe, one day in the distant future you will be able to take a break and be happy. Because we buy into the notion that if you work hard enough for long enough you will eventually be happy. But what if happiness isn’t a big retirement account? What if happiness is doing what you love to do?
What if the very thing that would make you happy is what your soul has been begging you to do for your entire life, but you were too scared to do it? Screw the fear of a big house, nice car, and all that crap. Drive a beat up, rusty Gremlin and do what you love to do. You might yourself joyful and probably a bit more humble in the making.
Today, may your longing for what you were created to be get the best of you.
May your passion for life reignite.
May the world be loved more because of how you are living.
It’s never too late to do what you love.
Grace & Peace