Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Working in your Passion

For many people, work is a necessary evil, a means to an end.  If you're employed, you earn an income, which pays for food, shelter, transportation, and other nice things.  You also have something productive to do during the day (or night).  If the benefit of a paycheck were removed, or if the necessities of life were taken care of, many people would not work.

I don't think that God intended people to loathe work, to dread Mondays and thank Him for Fridays.  Yes, He originally introduced the idea because His first creation, Adam, was disobedient, but that doesn't mean He can't redeem it for good things in the world and in you.

You were created for a purpose.  You were created with a combination of personality, passions, and talents that are uniquely yours.  If the planet Earth were a factory, you have a job doing your part to make the world go 'round.

While it would be wonderful if we could all choose the perfect degree, and get hired into a company with the perfect job, it rarely happens that way. Why? Because God's idea of education and work are not the same as the world's.  He may educate you through a difficult experience in your life, giving you the resources and compassion to help others in need.  He may provide a volunteer avenue for you to expression your passion that is totally unrelated to your 9 to 5.  He needs innovators and entrepreneurs and leaders and philanthropists, not just office drones.

So, you may have to work a job you don't like for a period of time.  You either reconcile the dislike with the benefits, or you use that period of time to improve your education or skills to transfer into a field that you do enjoy.  I don't believe God wants anyone to be miserable... but misery is often an attitude that a person chooses.  If you don't like your situation, focus on the good, and what you can change.  As John Wooden said, "Nothing will work unless you do."

 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Technicolor faith

I auditioned for a show the other day.  I hadn't auditioned for anything for two years.  And I am getting old.  I probably wouldn't have felt as old if I hadn't gone with my college-age friend, who happens to have an amazing voice and can apparently pick up dance steps as if she were, in fact, a dancer.

The show is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I am a huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fan, but I didn't know this was his first publically performed musical.  One of the songs captured my attention as my daughter played the rented VHS tape this morning before school:

Go, go, go Joseph you know what they say
Hang on now Joseph you'll make it some day
Sha la la Joseph you're doing fine
You and your dreamcoat ahead of your time

(It was written in the 60s. after all.)

The song highlights why Joseph's story is so amazing. It wasn't just about going rags from riches, or overcoming adversity.  It was his faith.  It was a belief that even if circumstances seemed dark, God had a plan. 

Joseph has a line in the song, Close every Door: 

If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world...


For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind
For I have been promised
A land of my own


Of course we know a psychedelic musical doesn't necessarily represent the true character of Joseph, but obviously, no matter how many times he got knocked down, he acted with courage and integrity, and became the vessel through which his entire family was saved from famine. 

Unfortunately, my audition shook my faith that I have a destiny on Broadway, but whether I'm in the show or moving scenery, Joseph's lessons of faith, leadership, and tenacity will remain.