Have you ever sat long enough to answer to the question “what do I love to do?”
I remember sitting in the living room of the split level house I lived in with three other girls after college. The windows were open and a fall breeze danced in as the scent of a vanilla candle filled the air. After four years of the stress of studies, relationships, fitting in, making grades, making plans, making friends, losing friends, parties and performing…it was as if a hush washed over my soul and I exhaled it all and let the fresh wind of a new season blow through my soul as it blew through the windows.
And a question that floated in with the breeze was “what do you love to do?”
I think at first, I was stunned by the question. As if one of my professor’s had snuck into my thoughts and asked the question expecting a six-page, single-spaced type written essay with a thesis, supporting evidence and a conclusion that would then determine the rest of my life’s direction. Most of everything up to that point was about merely getting a grade, pleasing others, or at least not ticking anyone off. But this was different. It was a question about what stirred my soul, not what filled my selfish desires. It was about what made me come alive inside, not how to get my own way.
That was almost twenty years ago and the same question still tugs at my spirit. The only difference now is that I know that some answers change with seasons. But I have to ask the question and be still long enough to discover the answer.
In her book, You Were Made for a God-sized Dream, Holley Gerth wrote “Find the moments when you feel God’s pleasure, when you sense him right next to you, urging you on, when your dream and your relationship with Him intertwine in a flow that feels like what you’ve been made for all along. Then live in those moments as much as possible.”
I love this. Sometimes I think I just make it all too complicated thinking I need to do everything, try everything, be good at everything. Instead of sitting back, giving myself permission to breathe and instead enjoying the fabulous things that others do and create…and not ever want to do them myself. It’s finding those things that set my heart on fire, things that make me cry, things about which I lay awake at night thinking. Those are the things on which I want to concentrate. It’s easy to get distracted, side tracked or even lazy about these things, but so worth every stretch and effort to focus and dig in. Asking questions like…what brings me joy? What energizes me? What makes me cry? What do I do when I don’t want to do something else?
As the #write31days challenge of 2015 comes to an end today, I am, more than anything, grateful. It’s such a sweet gift to have someone challenge me to do the thing I wouldn’t have had the courage to do otherwise. There have been so many people, all encouraging each other on in this great challenge. Such a great community of people stepping out brave and having the courage to try something uncomfortable, vulnerable and on some of the days, just plain hard. I love these spaces where people can come, put their comfy pants on, hold hands and cheer each other on.
It gives courage to the next season of gently continuing to uncover the answer to my heart’s question “what do I love to do?”
Praying wherever you are and whatever is before you, you steal a moment to begin discovering the answer and borrow some courage to step out and do that thing more today. You are worth it.