Glad to see you all for another edition of “Take It In.” this week. I pray your week is going well and you are having success and peace. Success and peace are not possible without the two items mentioned in the headline. We find success through passion, and peace through pain. A dear friend and brother reminded me of that in a conversation we had earlier this week.
Let me say how wonderful it is to have friends who tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. God has this funny way of making sure they tell what I need to hear right when I need to hear it. Such an occurrence happened this past Sunday. My friend and I were catching up and talking about our lives — careers, family, relationships. When he asked me how things were going I mentioned the fact I have been struggling with confusion about my calling. What I currently do is not what I want to do with my life.
I told him this and where I think should go. He asked me this insightful, thought-provoking question. “What brings you the most pain?” I paused for a bit and replied, “Mental health has personally brought me a lot of pain. That is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about it.” He responded to me with a phrase that struck me to my core. He said, “Your passion is what brings you pain.”
The incandescent light bulb in my mind was about to burst. Wow, that makes so much sense. I had a moment of clarity like I haven’t experienced in a long time. We went on to discuss that mental health is indeed a passion I need to pursue. However, we also talked about how not every passion is necessarily a vocation. It is so important to distinguish between the two. A vocation is our calling, our life’s work. A passion is a cause, idea or activity that we have a deep, personal connection to for one or more reasons. A passion may invoke or lead a vocation, but not always. This has brought me much confusion, and perhaps it has for you as well.
I know I have a passion for mental health. Is my vocation to work in the field in some capacity? I do not know for sure yet. The doors for that career have not been opened. They may not open at all. Perhaps mental health is a cause I need to fight for in another way such as volunteering with an agency. God will reveal and I have to get out there and explore. I say this to those of you who are struggling with confusion over what you are supposed to be doing with yourself.
Examine yourself closely. What brings you the most pain? Is it depression? Is it substance abuse? Is it family dysfunction? If it has brought you pain, I encourage you to find a way to give yourself to that cause. By pursuing passions and exploring interests, you will find your calling. I am right here with you. Most importantly, so is God. Let’s make sure to enjoy the journey along the way.
Please comment with your own struggles and insight on this subject! I want to hear from you all. See you next week.
“God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, “. . . who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.”
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