This is what I’ve been referring to as “The Dark Blog Post.” It’s introspective, negative, and could scare the underoos off family and friends alike. Be at peace, dearhearts – this is not the final word on the matter. “The Medium Blog Post” will follow, as will “The Light Blog Post.” Journey with me, and don’t get freaked out. We’re ok.
“… There was never any other meaning than the obvious one.” – Peter Yarrow, Peter Paul & Mary
What if, in our “find your passion, follow your dreams, look for more, don’t settle for less, live life to the fullest” world, there are those of us who aren’t supposed to do that? What if there are people to whom less will be their more – or even their most? Their world is overflowing with what some of us might call “mundane” or “ordinary.” Work, eat, sleep, serve in church, love family, be faithful. Nothing more. (And for the record, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. For certain people, with certain lives, this is all there is and that’s alright.)
And what if you’ve always been one of those people, but never realized it (or never believed it), so you’ve spent years and years trying to find what your calling is, trying to fill the aching emptiness (or what you think is emptiness) in your lonely life, and trying to find that “something more” or “deeper purpose” that’s out there, when in fact there really isn’t anything else? Not for you, anyway.
Or, as Despair.com puts it on their Demotivational poster called Ambition (which pictures an order of fries in a cardboard sleeve): “Not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up.”
And so, one day you take a look around at the mountains of pursuits, hobbies, tried and failed paths, cast-aside toys and tools, and all the wreckage of attempts to find the “something more” that’s always eluded you, and the shocking truth finally hits you…
There isn’t anything more. And all of your frustration and searching for things just out of your grasp could have ended if you finally accepted that, for you, there is nothing but work, sleep, eat, serve in church, love your family, and do it all faithfully. That’s it. Nothing else.
What if all the frustration comes not from trying to finally find your calling or path or purpose, but from not accepting the bare truth that, for you, there is NO calling, no path, no purpose other than the obvious one?
What if you aren’t “made for greater things” but are just made for plain, normal, and mundane? And trying to find deeper meaning where there is none will always end with more pain and emptiness? Trying more hobbies, pursuits, or “things” to make sense out of your world will only result in more junk lying around, more wreckage from things taken up and cast aside, and again, more pain and emptiness, as once again you push on closed doors, never realizing that they aren’t doors – they’re brick walls, never intended to open for you.
You were intended for something less. You are set on “normal” and all the chasing of the wind will never change that basic truth. This revelation, for the record, isn’t necessarily despair – it could be the most freeing thing you’ve ever experienced. Once you get past the whole “You already are all you can be” thing, that is. And dump most of your toys, hobbies, and “someday this is going to be my full-time gig, when I can finally quit my mundane life and do what I dream!” stuff.
Which is gonna make a lot more room around the house. So there’s that.
Your loved ones, your friends, and concerned others will rise to your defense, pointing out your sterling qualities, your cleverness and giftedness, and they’ll implore you to reconsider – there is SO much more in store for you, just wait and see! That’s amazing of them, and one of the many reasons that you love them and hold them dear…
But, it doesn’t change the truth.
Honestly look at your gifts for a minute… Gifted? Oh heavens yes, you are. But gifted in such a way that those gifts should become your primary life? Should you be chasing them, to the exclusion of all others?
Your gifts may be more than enough – abundant, even – for the basic format. Work, sleep, eat, serve in church, love your family, do it all faithfully. They fit right in to a life built for something less. But they aren’t the level of exceptional that would justify putting them into a slot they aren’t sufficient to fill. And trying to elevate them just leaves more wreckage in your wake. More failed attempts. More toys taken up and thrown aside.
You may be the poster child for the Don’t Quit Your Day Job Foundation. To go all Biblical up in here, you might not be the servant with the 10 talents – you’re the guy with one. The question is, are you going to bury that one thing in the ground, or do the most with the little you have?
If these What If’s turn out to be What Is’s, when will you finally accept that truth, and realize that you were made for something less?
Or were you?…