Fear of A Passionless Life
/ W E E K T H R E E /
Do you want to make a difference in the world? What would a life or a career look like that would truly make a difference?
Making a Difference: “…Figuring out how can they be a part of something larger than themselves.”
“Ah my life is so monotonous, me going to church and serving on Sunday and handing out bulletins is not saving the world like these other guys are doing it.”
Some of us even expect that a passion-filled, vibrant life is the expected reward for leading a good Christian life.
Or that being a good Christian means that you must be a passionate, smiley, over the top world-changer.
/ R E A D /
Genesis 2:1-3, 15
Why do you think that God had Adam and Eve working in the Garden?
The Bible begins by talking about work as – this is how important and basic it is.
In the beginning, God worked (melkah) – the Hebrew word is used to describe ordinary, human work.
God worked for the sheer creative joy of it.
Work is a part of the Garden, before the fall – this is part of the blessedness of work itself!
We are given a specific job – to ‘subdue’ and ‘have dominion’ over creation!
/ F E A R O F … /
A Purposeless Life
Are you afraid of what life might be like after you graduate?
For some this fear might be more immediate, for others, it may be just beginning
The beginning of the questions – “So, what do you want to do when you graduate?"
Fear that life during, or after University will be dull, boring, and isolating.
Fear that the degree that you are getting is not setting you up for the career and instagramable or world changing success that society tells you that you must have.
That the classes you are in do not move you, interest you, and really get you out of bed in the morning.
And that the work that this may be setting you up for, is not something that you find a deep, daily passion for.
This causes a lot of fear and dread, each and every day. This leads to lack of motivation, desire, and even personal care.
/ I D E N T I T Y + V O C A T I O N /
What is the first thing you ask someone, after you’ve met them?
“Nice to meet you… And what do you do for work? What are you studying? What do you want to do when you graduate?”
In our world today, we are defined by what we do. What we do is who we are.
What we study is the kind of person we are – our identity is our topic of study, or our career hopes.
What is your immediate reaction to this statement? How does this make us feel?
Many young adults saw a career as a reflection of their identity and were not able to choose a career because the question of their identity was not settled.”
/ E R I K S O N O N C A R E E R + I D E N T I T Y/
Erikson - Identity is formed when you negotiate your role in a community through a career.
This overflows into our courses -- we cannot be in all courses that we aren’t passionate about.
This is where meaning comes from.
What is a course that you are currently in that you are passionate about? What is a course that you are in that you are far from excited about?
/ R E A D /
What do you think the disciples are feeling, thinking in this moment?
From small-town fisherman, to the disciples of the Son of God.
From a passionless, labour intensive job – to being the followers and direct disciples of the Saviour of the World!
Their vocation drastically changed in a moment, and with that, so too did their identity. From fisherman, to disciples. From small town workers, to travelling apostles.
We too are called. We too are tapped on the shoulder. We today are called to be Christ’s loving, disciples in this world.
We have a purpose, that invades everything we do – our classes, our relationships, our part-time jobs, our group-projects.
/ R E A D /
All things are being renewed and redeemed. No matter if you are a garbage man or a Pastor, no matter if you are a teacher or a Professor at a Seminary.
No job is more holy, no work is more world changing, it is with our eyes set on Christ and our confidence in our identity as His people, that we begin to find a purposeful life. One outside of ourselves!
We are called to purposeful study, work, and relationships in all of life – not only around this table, not only in Church on Sunday, but every single day of the week.
That purpose does not come from directly from our classes, or from our work, it comes from our faith as followers of Christ!
Just because you aren’t going to Seminary to be a Pastor, does not mean that you aren’t called to a purposeful life of influence those around you in any workplace, classroom, and relationship you are in with the love and power of Christ!
/ J E S U S + W O R K /
In Christ, we are defined by who we are in Him, not what we do.
We are beloved (Jer. 31:3)
We are forgiven (1 Peter 2:24)
We are set-apart (1 Peter 2:9)
We are co-workers (1 Cor. 3:9)
As we find our purpose in our identity in Christ, in who He says that we are, from there we find our purpose in all of life.
Then we should not be afraid, for our purpose is from God alone – this gives us meaning, this gives us passion, this gives us endless purpose in all of our work.
Christ does give us passions, gifts, desires to live meaningful lives as students, in our careers, and our relationships.
But the pressure that we feel to lead a beautifully passionate, world-changing life is taken from us – that burden is from our culture, not from Christ.
/ R E F L E C T I O N /
Think about a fear that you have of about your future, and the desire to lead a socially desirable successful or externally meaning-filled life.
Fears about you future career, about your future courses, or about your life in the near or far future.
Ask God to take those fears from you, and to allow you to understand the ultimate purpose and call to be His loving hands and feet in everything that we do.
Write down a few things in your life that you are in the midst of that feel passionless to you, monotonous, meaningless – this could be a certain class, particular readings, a part-time job, or some extra-curriculars.
Ask God to continue to reveal to you that He is present in all things, and that as His beloved, forgiven, set-apart, and co-working children – we find meaning in the ways that He is constantly at work in all of life. The mundane and the magnificent all the same. The instagrammable and the dull.