Why am I not teaching? Where am I working now? Do I like it? Is it ok to pursue your passions? Am I pursuing my passions? Why is the word pride in the title? Is perspective really important?
All these questions are answered in this transparent blog about my life and how I allowed pride to get in the way of a few privileges God has allowed me to have.
Passion is singlehandedly the best characteristic that one can have, in my opinion. I want people to say that I’m passionate. It’s very important to me because it’s something that you can’t teach, coach, or preach. Passion is simply from God.
One time a guy told me something to the effects of, “this is the first time I’ve seen you passionate about it,” or something similar to that.
I was SO mad. He didn’t really say anything disrespectful. He just made an observation. A very wrong one in my opinion, but we’re all entitled to our own opinions.
I was upset because that was the first time while I was in student ministry someone questioned my passion for something that I find myself being overly passionate about.
Side story about my basketball career. People don’t realize this even to this day, but high school basketball was where I peaked, passion-wise, for basketball. I truly enjoyed playing basketball in high school and it wasn’t because we experienced success. It was just fun! Coach Boyett was awesome, we played like the Spurs, and everyone wanted to see each other succeed. It was beautiful! I knew probably within the first week of college that I wasn’t passionate about it like I was in high school. That’s ok too! I believe that passion comes in waves and in seasons. Whether that season is 45 years or 45 minutes it can come and go. So if you’re wondering why I stopped playing basketball after my junior year at NSU, it was simply because I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t as passionate as I hoped I was going to be. I was burned out. Now don’t get me wrong, I still played hard, practiced hard, and was a good teammate. But my passion for helping others continued growing and definitely outweighed my passion for playing. I always told people that If I could go to college and get it paid for without playing basketball, I would do it in a heartbeat. That opportunity happened my senior year when the coaches and I talked about me coming on as a student assistant coach (on full scholarship) instead of playing and it was truly a dream come true.
The point of me saying that is that it’s ok to not be passionate about everything. It’s ok to not do certain things if you’re not passionate about it. Keyword, certain. Not everything but certain things.
Example: Madalyn and I have been in the search process for a youth pastor position for almost 5 months now and because we thought the process was going to be fast and we imagined we’d be gone by August, I didn’t pick up a side job. Well, the process was slower than anticipated and I had to get a job while looking for a student pastor job. If I am being completely honest, I didn’t want to. I had made up in my mind that I didn’t need to waste time on something different when I know for a fact that he has designed me for student ministry. I also allowed how large New Beginnings is negatively affect my mindset and for a while, I took a prideful stance on other positions that weren’t ministry based. I figured to myself, Why would I go work a “normal job” when I know I can succeed in a large church. Pride is ridiculous. When I first started working for Waitr, I was truly ashamed. I was hurt. Full of pride and ego focused. It was terrible. I essentially allowed myself to believe that anyone in ministry was better than those that aren’t. I didn’t want to pursue this job because it wasn’t what I was passionate about. But then it hit me.
MY PERSONAL PASSIONS ARE NOWHERE NEAR AS IMPORTANT AS THE CALLING AND PRIVILEGE I HAVE TO SUPPORT MY WIFE.
SHE is my priority, not me, not what I feel, not what I want, not what I am individually passionate about, but her.
So if that means putting my STUPID pride aside and getting a job that isn’t what I imagined doing, then not only will I do it, BUT I WANT TO DO IT.
Why? Because I love her more than I love the individual pursuit of my passions
Because my primary calling is my family, not my career.
Because to have the privilege to serve my beautiful wife like that is what I’m most passionate about after God. And really to love God is to love my wife also.
AND GOD CALLED ME TO LOVE GOD AND TO LOVE PEOPLE.
He never said that this passion you have for students will be the only way to serve me and provide for your family. Once again, pride is ridiculous.
So I asked God to forgive me and remind me of the love that I have for Mad is a love that takes precedence over all things after Him.
God has done such an incredible work in helping me walk in humility. Where at first I saw delivering food to people as one of the lowest jobs people can do and feeling like it’s not something someone with a bachelors degree should be doing NOW HE HAS CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE.
Now I look forward to serving people by bringing them their food! Now I proudly walk into the restaurant as a Waitr delivery guy and can’t wait to see who God is going to lead me to interact with. I enjoy the free time that I get to talk to God in my car. I love getting to meet new people every day and encourage them. I also love being able to help provide for my family. It’s all about perspective. (Blog about perspective coming soon)
Something I think that is easy to forget is that Jesus did a lot of little things that were really looked down on and/or seen to carry little importance. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and took the posture of a servant. Jesus delivered food to 5,000 people to meet their basic need. Jesus took the time to talk to and pray with a group of children and the disciples were confused as to why he would spend time with kids. Jesus took up for women when they were seen of little importance and didn’t have the opportunity to have their voice valued.
Things that seem insignificant, can sometimes change someone’s whole world.
Lastly, I get this question a lot. “Why aren’t you teaching?” If you don’t know, I’ve wanted to be a teacher since 8th grade. God began to change my heart about teaching my last semester in college and lead me to student ministry. So I’ve been asked this a lot lately and here’s the answer: I’m not as passionate about teaching as I should be to be a teacher. I believe that there are many teachers who teach that truly are not passionate about their jobs. In my opinion, students deserve better. Students only have so much time in school so why wouldn’t we surround them with passionate adults that want to see them succeed? If I were to teach I would do it half-heartedly and that’s just not fair to the students. Just like for my teammates at NSU when I decided not to play senior year, a big reason I chose not to was because they deserved to play with someone that loves the game, loves to compete, and is passionate about the grind. So since the well-being of my family is not on the line right now, I choose to continue staying away from teaching in this season. Some people get it and some don’t, and that is ok.
I can recall last summer when I graduated that people were texting me and saying that if I didn’t take the White Oak job that was offered that I was basically a fool. LOL. I was even told that I wasn’t listening to God if I didn’t take advantage of the open door. But here’s the thing, ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT GOD IS CALLING YOU TO DO. Sure God might use other people to speak to you, but until you find your peace about it, then you can’t move. Who cares what people think!
In conclusion: It’s ok to pursue your individual passions until these individual passions take precedence over your specific callings from God such as husband, wife, servant, disciple. When we begin to view our jobs as tasks and duties, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Indicators that we’ve allowed pride to get in the way is if we feel embarrassed or ashamed of our jobs. We have to look at these blessings from it’s simplest form. An opportunity to serve our father and His children. I hope you’re encouraged and maybe this week at work you can walk into work knowing that you’re bringing joy to your Father by serving those around you with a thankful heart. Let us continue taking a humble, thankful, servant posture and serving our Father in heaven, our families, co-workers and anyone that God allows to cross our paths.
Remember. we all need encouragement, no matter the season.
Only You Know What God Is Calling You To Do!