Kind of a crazy title, but some of you may understand exactly what it is I’m talking about. See I love working with youth. I’ve just finished a four year run of working with a youth group in Amsterdam and am back in America. But one day, hopefully soon, I’ll be able to work with the youth there again full time with Young Life Amsterdam. But until then, I have to do something I only like to do in order to pay the bills until I get to do what I love to do again.
Unfortunately, Young Life does not have a way of living off any support you raise until reaching 100%. This is great if you’re young and living at home and have the support of your family (Which I’m fortunate enough to have a supportive family that I can move back in with at 35 years old and they help with some of my expenses). But if you don’t have the support of your family or your family can’t support you fully, you have to get a job to pay the bills while fundraising…sorry, finding financial partners in ministry. Same thing, nicer title. So to keep from having family and friends supporting me fully while raising support, I’ve taken a job selling mobile phones at a major retailer to help cover some of my living expenses while finding financial partners in ministry.
There’s pluses and minuses to doing this. The negatives include taking time away from doing what really needs to be done, having to train for the new job which takes up a ton of time, being exhausted after work dealing with all the new stuff and numbers and customers, and of course the frustration of doing something I like, but don’t really love.
The positives include working with technology and the latest gadgets, talking with people, sharing what I’m really passionate about in general conversations with tons of people, having some great encouragement happen from customers, working around a ton of new colleagues, and having some type of set schedule.
But, it’s not what my gifting and passion is. Even in this position, my talents and gifts for working with young people and parents is blazingly apparent. I like selling mobile phones, but it’s not fulfilling. Selling someone a new phone has no lasting impact on their life. They’re going to get a new one in two years and probably won’t even remember who sold them their last phone. There’s no lasting relationship that happens. It’s frustrating knowing that my talents and gifts are somewhat on hold and I’m trying to deal with it. There’s not the fulfilment of doing something meaningful when I get off work and am exhausted. I’d rather run a major youth event or do a deep theological teaching and feel exhausted doing that what I’m doing. There’s lasting impact in that exhaustion. You feel like you did something worthwhile.
Maybe some of you are in the same boat. You’re doing something you only like to get to where you can do something you love. Hang in there, you’re not alone. One day you’ll be using those talents and gifts to their full potential. You’ll be exhausted doing what you love to do, not from simply doing what you have to do. But maybe you’re doing something you only like because you don’t know what you’d do if you could do what you love. Take some time and figure it out. See what you’re good at and find a way to utilize those gifts. Don’t just go through life surviving, go through it thriving on what you’re passionate about and gifted for. Be satisfied when you’ve had a long day knowing that you did something you love to do.
So there you go. As my title says, I’m here, doing something I like so that I can eventually do what I love.