Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Potter and His Clay

My youngest son, who just turned seven last week, has a true artist's heart. He paints, he draws, he colors and creates, and now he even makes pottery. This is his first creation on his birthday pottery wheel. I captured his intensity in this photo, but wish I could have also captured his excitement. He is doing exactly what he was made to do.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. How God created us with certain gifts and passions that tell us the path we should go, what we are made to do. It's what puts fire in our belly. It's what makes work not seem like work. It's what makes us passionate about certain things in the world.

And, yet, we lose our way. Every day. 

We say yes to things that aren't our strengths, or our passion, because someone asked us to serve (and they were kind in their request), or we got promoted into a job that no longer fits who we are. We become drained, but we keep plugging away. No intensity. No excitement in our soul.

Gretchen Rubin, who wrote a wonderful book called The Happiness Project, notes that one of the keys to finding more happiness in your life is to be serious about play. She writes, "What did you like to do when you were a child? What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old is probably something you'd enjoy now." I was so moved by this idea that I called my mom immediately after reading it to ask what I enjoyed at 10-years-old.

Writing. Reading. Playing in the woods. Riding my bike. Having friends over all the time. Laughing until I peed my pants.

Granted, laughing until I pee my pants may not be a career option. But this list gives me lots of food for thought. Writing does fuel my passion. Outdoor time is still sacred for me. Good friends fill my bucket up daily. God has been telling me my strengths and passions for a long time, even since childhood. When did I stop listening?

Wherever you are today, whatever your journey at this moment...take heart. You have been molded since childhood to become who you are supposed to be, despite the mess ups and even the unintentional successes. Try to remember what re-charges and re-fuels you. It makes the journey so much more joyful and abundant along the way.