Set Your Soul on Fire
I recently finished reading "Jesus is ____" by Judah Smith, and I love the concept he uses to start the book: superbad or sortabad. In a nutshell, he pinpoints the fact that we all use a fallacious "badness scale" to compare ourselves to the world around us. We justify our own actions with the reasoning that we aren't as messed up as so and so. Our irrational thought process results in an inflated sense of self and a lost sense of perspective. Lately, I've been thinking about how we use this same irrational logic in a self-deprecating way. Just as we are capable of viewing ourselves as better than others, we sometimes use ridiculous logic to place people and their accomplishments on a pedestal far above us, especially when it comes to our dreams. If you're honest with yourself, there is probably a calling out there that you think is more noble or spiritual than your own. You compare yourself to foreign missionaries, nonprofit leaders, and TED talk geniuses and think, "wow, my life is pretty basic".
Yesterday, our pastor concluded his sermon with the idea that every opportunity we are given in this life is a chance to use the things of this world to advance God's kingdom. We are given passions and talents for specific reasons, and we were never meant to squelch those qualities in efforts to become somebody else.
What does that mean? It means that you are supposed to embrace the things that set your soul on fire. It means that your decisions have weight and your influence has merit, regardless of how normal your career or life may be. But, if you don't choose into your calling, then no one can recover that lost opportunity for you. No one knows about the dreams you right down in your notebook or the ideas bouncing around in your head if you never bring them to life.
I used to believe that I could only have a big influence if I was doing something exemplary. Impressive jobs and public platforms definitely make an impact, but if you think about the people in your life who have made the biggest impression on you, they are the people who are doing life with you. They are the ones who have lived out their calling, whether that's a stay-at-home mom or a CEO, with passion and unwavering character in every circumstance.
Imagine how you would view your life if you started to believe that your job, your position, or your day-to-day was crucial in accomplishing your purpose. You can't make an impact on other people if you refuse to use the God-given talents that were designed to be your tool-kit. Your sphere of influence and your passions are no accident, so use them to do big things, instead of making excuses for why you aren't as important as whoever you're idolizing.