One week into the New Year and (so far) I’m on track with my goals for 2018. If you’ve also survived that first week, let’s pause a moment to celebrate…and then, let’s get real. There are 51 more weeks to go and countless opportunities to get off track or lose our focus on what matters most. However, if we’re doing what we were created to do, the road ahead gets easier.
Like I mentioned last week, I love to fill the blank pages of my calendar with dreams, goals, and plans. To be honest, some of those goals—like building stronger relationships with God, family, and friends—make it hard to see if I’ve made progress. That’s why I’ve got plenty of other goals that are easy to measure. And most of those tangible goals—aside from the usual diet, exercise, and bucket-list adventures—tend to fall under the broad category of vocational goals or pursuing my passion.
Which quickly brings us back to that question of doing what we were created to do. Why did God wire me the way He did with certain talents, interests, and strengths? What am I here on Earth to accomplish?
This year I’m reading through the Bible in The Message version in order to get a new perspective on the familiar words. On Friday, I came across these nuggets near the beginning of Matthew chapter 5. “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.”
So, I’m here to shine a light on or enhance the work of God in this world. But how do I do that? By using my unique talents to bring that light into my circle of influence while doing work that matters.
Late last year, I discovered The Ken Coleman Show podcast. The host’s mission is to help listeners find their sweet spot at the intersection of their greatest talents and greatest passions. To get to a place where they’ll never dread another Monday again because they’re doing work that energizes them. Work that serves a greater purpose and lines up with their values.
For me, that passion involves stories. I LOVE stories. Adventures through movies. Comedic entertainment on television. Emotional journeys through the pages of a book. And better yet, dipping into the depths of my imagination to craft similar tales for my readers. I can easily get lost for hours or more in the fictional fog of a great story. In fact, I get almost as captivated helping other authors brainstorm or while critiquing a friend’s book. I LOVE stories. And I’ve got a knack for seeing the big picture quickly, coming up with creative ideas, and writing in a way that pulls readers into the story.
I was made to be a writer. When I use my talents in the area of my passion, I’m in the perfect place to shine a very bright light into dark corners of the world by weaving the truth of God’s love into the pages of my books. Because I’m doing work that I LOVE. And that makes it easier to stay on track with my goals for 2018 because they line up with my purpose and I find joy in the journey.
Take Elizabeth Foster, the main character in Focus On Love, for example. Liz is still struggling with finding that perfect passion to build a future around. Pain and betrayal made her turn her back on her childhood dream of photography to pursue a career in musical theater instead. But the photography bug never left and while she’s been content to call her camera a hobby, meeting Ryan Callahan is about to push her out of her comfort zone to take another look at what she was made for. As the story asks, if given the choice, what dream would develop?
(If you’d like to see how her journey begins, you can get the first chapters now by signing up for my email list. The whole story releases February 13th but is available for pre-order now.)
What about you? Do you have a job you love? Or does your passion lie in a hobby instead? Do you see any way forward to combine the two until you LOVE what you do? Are you doing what you were created to do?