Everyone “makes” a living somehow. Very few people do something meaningful and directly connected to their passion. Most get something remotely in their “field” but generally they are filling a position that could be replaced by another.
The point is that work is always to some degree work. No matter how closely related to our passion or interest we will inevitably begrudge some aspects of what is needed. We can either do the undesirable things toward our ends or another’s.
The call to launching a career in the arts is an entrepreneurial one by nature. It will be hard. There will be much competition. The in-roads will be rocky, not smoothly paved. It will be hard. But what are the alternatives that seem any better?
We will otherwise give the prime hours of our days to another’s vision. We will have to work hard. We will have to do things that are not meaningful. We may be able to “leave it work.” That is true. But is that the goal? Is our goal detachment from work?
From the very beginning of time surviving on earth has not been easy. We can only imagine the struggles of our pre-historic parents, trying merely to survive in the brutal landscape. It may seem odd to mention but reminds us of our context.
We really don’t have it that bad. And our choice between doing a job we like but don’t love where pay is steady or doing a job we love where pay is uncertain and unstable is really quite an amazing choice. Honestly, it is an American choice.
In many countries still today that choice is not real. The choice is decided for them either by their family, environment, or even times their government. There are few choices offered where we are given complete freedom to decide.
Having a choice at all is a reminder of our great privilege. We live in such a time as to have real freedom. Of course that freedom has great challenges but certainly it outweighs the alternatives. We get to realize our lives by simply willing it.
So we move forward with the sovereign freedom to make our lives exactly what we think they should be. We listen well to our gifts and to our true friends to discover what has already been put in there before we were even born or thought of.
We don’t hesitate or apologize for these gifts. They are ours not by some choice or some willing of our own. That is why they are natural gifts. The gifts are given for the common good beyond that which we can completely comprehend.
One thing we know: if we do not use these gifts they will atrophy upon themselves within us. They are given to be used. They are to be shared. When we do not use them it is as if the whole world is missing them within us.
The world will move on. Our stubborn refusal to use them will not keep the Great One from doing what He will. Another will rise to the challenge. So take care of your gifts. They are treasures to be fought for, wrestled with, and celebrated with the world.