What’s your calling? Do you know?
When I was 9 years old my dad brought home our very first home computer. It was a Hewlett-Packard running Windows 95 and it came in a box with cow spots all over it. We ripped it out of the box, set the bulky tube monitor on the desk, and expeditiously matched all the colored ends of the sea of cables to the back of the computer tower.
We turned it on and stood back in awe as it proceeded to boot up. Then, all at once, there it was:
In the years that followed I would get in trouble on numerous occasions for my failed attempts to put the computer back together after having taken it apart to learn how it all worked together inside. I didn’t care – I loved it. I loved everything about computers. Software – hardware – peripherals – if it was computing I was obsessing (we even had a dial-up modem that could get 33.6kbit/s!).
The summer of my 14th birthday I remember asking my dad if I could come work for him on his drywall crew to make some extra money and learn a trade. In one of my fathers rare moments of clarity, he looked at me firmly and said, “No. You keep trying to get good at computers and let your daddy save your back. You’ve got a talent for it that I won’t ever have – turn it in to something.”
16 years later computers have taken me pretty far.
A long the way I’ve drifted from time to time from computers and technology – whether it be a season of life where I was unsure about who I was and what I was ultimately called to do – there have definitely been times in my life where I look back and wish that I had stayed the course. Heads down. Never doubting. But that’s life and I’m thankful for the success the Father has allowed me to experience at such a young age.
And so that’s why I’m writing this.
Do you see someone who has a natural gift and talent for something? Encourage them in it. Cheer them on. Push them to turn their talent in to a skill.
Do you see someone who has obvious skill in an area that only few are successful? Push them to try to turn it in to a career.
Do you see someone chasing their dreams even though deep down you’re afraid they’re likely going to miss? Keep telling them to fight for it. They may not make it in the end, but they’ll never regret what they learn along the way and they’ll never have to wonder what “might have been”.
The world has no shortage of talented people who are unsuccessful. I believe that is largely in part to a shortage of people willing to push them to try – to take the risk – to do the crazy thing and actually go for it.
My life feels like a series of crazy leaps that through hard work and perseverance (and a lot of Grace from God) keep paying off.
Find where you’re called and pursue it with all your heart.
Never give up.
And never trade happiness for safety.