Walking In Your Passion While Still Being Useful

Photo Credit: Michael Quinn via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on the Chris Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.nosuperheroes.com/walking-in-your-passion/ and is re-posted with permission.

“May I never lose the wonder, oh the wonder of your mercy.”

This line from Matt Redman’s song “Mercy” has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

Grace is my passion.

It is my One Big Thing.
It is what brings tears to my eyes when I see its absence.
It truly is the truth, which gets me out of bed in the morning.

As Andy Stanley said at the recent Catalyst Conference, “It is what I want people to line up to thank me for at the end of my life.”

I am looking for a larger portion of the opportunities I say “yes” for, to flow through the lens of grace.

“Can I make an impact (in my passion) in this area?”

On the flip side, I’ve been around long enough to know if everyone does only their passion, there are a lot of necessary but not so fun jobs left.

In her book, The Organic God, Margaret Feinberg put this in very clever way.

“Recently I stumbled on this gold mine: ‘Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.’ Proverbs 14:14 (NASB) Written in a language of a farmer, this proverb offers a powerful business lesson: Sometimes work stinks, but keep it up because it will lead to profit. While I love writing, I don’t enjoy some aspects. I would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than develop a book proposal or align footnotes in a manuscript. This Scripture insinuates that any job worth doing has its poopy parts – whether you’re a college student, a writer, a farmer, a minister, or an executive for a Fortune 500 company.”

How do we blend the “poopy” parts of life with living out our passion?

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Consider every opportunity prayerfully. This applies for both areas. For me, I need to see if the option helps me walk in my passion of grace. Equally, I need to ask God if there are areas not specifically tied to my passion, which he is calling me to serve and meet a need.
  2. Don’t say yes to everything. Yes being the default answer will lead to being out of balance in these areas. Too many “poopy” parts and we will be frustrated and unfulfilled. Too many passion parts and we will fly above it all and lose our relevance.
  3. Break time into manageable parts. Look at each week, month, and year. Make sure there is a balance in your life in these intervals. Otherwise, we end up so far down the road where course correction is difficult.
  4. Realize both these areas are spiritual. One is not our calling and the other our burden. Keeping this perspective can help us find joy in a variety of tasks.

How about you? Do you have a healthy balance in your life of pursuing your passions and embracing the “poopy” parts of service?

This is a continual journey, not a one-time event. I need this reminder frequently on my journey.

About the author

Chris Lautsbaugh
Chris Lautsbaugh

Chris Lautsbaugh lives in Muizenberg, South Africa serving with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for the last 23 years. His passion is teaching grace and seeing how it affects leadership, parenting, and all areas of life. He enjoys a good cup of coffee, most sporting events, and traveling to any new place. Chris blogs at www.nosuperheroes.com and has published a book on grace, Death of the Modern Superhero: How Grace Breaks our Rules.

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