I enjoy watching documentaries. Though I prefer watching them about music, I will sit and watch them on just about anything. (I know more about the llama than should ever be allowed. I’m sorry, Mr. Arbitrator of Lost Time. I’ll never get those moments back. You win.)
The other night I was watching a documentary about a can’t miss football prospect named, Todd Marinovich. Todd was a gifted football player and from birth was trained relentlessly by his father. (Yes, by birth. His father said he would stretch out Todd’s hamstrings while Todd was in the crib. Yikes.) Todd eventually attained his two lifelong dreams of playing in the NFL and pleasing his father.
Once he had done these things he promptly lost interest in football, increased an already damaging drug habit, and continued on a downward spiral until finally hitting bottom, getting clean, and giving up football. Todd had come to the realization that maybe he never played football because he actually wanted to play, but because everyone else wanted him to play. “But Todd, you have to play, you’re so good at it. If I had your ability…..”
He then said something that struck a chord with me. He said, “Just because you’re good at something, does that mean you were born to do it?”
Quite a question.
I am in the opposite position of Mr. Marinovich. He has a talent he isn’t sure he wants to use and squanders a blank canvas of opportunity. I have talents and interests but find myself doing other things.
“Hey dude, suck it up, get a good job, pay your bills, and relax. You were meant to work and provide money.”
That’s an option.
But I don’t want to cease the pursuit of living life to the full. I want to continue pursuing the fully realized version of myself until God takes me Home. Will the full version involve my talents?
“But Joel, you need to just find a good job and provide for your family. Don’t make it so difficult.”
Nikki would be disappointed in me if I simply pursued a “good paying job that paid the bills.” My wife wants a full-version husband. Not some unfulfilled ATM.
I’m not going to lay on my death bed, look back on my life and say, “Man, I sure kept us in 350-thread count bed sheets, didn’t I? Success in life has been attained. I’m ready, Lord.” (I’m assuming 350 is good. Not sure about these things. You get my point.)
Before I go further. Great friends of mine are blessed with gobs of money and are doing what they were created to do. This isn’t a money issue. I used to make semi-gobs of money. His path has taken me to a place where this isn’t the case anymore. I’m okay with that. I fully trust that God will provide for my family if I am obedient to Him as a man and as a child of God.
We’ve never missed a meal or paid one bill late and it had absolutely nothing to do with me. It was God working through me. One aside..I provide my wife and future family with finances, sure. But I (God through me) also provide emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. We men always equate provision with money. Nopers.
Don’t get me wrong……
I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy leading a non-profit and teaching. It pays next to nothing. About $3 an hour. But the peace attained when a student or listener of a sermon “gets it” in the area of a life lesson is something you can’t put a price on. A $4 an hour job couldn’t drag me away.
Did God give me talents/interests to relieve stress as I continue in my career? Did he give me talents/interests with the plan that one day they will melt into my career? Am I not recognizing some talents I am using right now? Or maybe he gave me talents/interests to see if I’m willing to give them up for Him?
I don’t know the way of God. I get more confused the older I get trying to figure out the meaning of it all, why I do this, why I don’t do that, but if my pursuit continues then so be it because maybe the pursuit is the meaning.
Revelation 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.