Recently a friend voiced a question that a lot of people are asking:
“No one actually pursues their dreams or their dream vocation these days, do they?!”
Behind this question are many other questions that people are asking in our current job market:
- Is it really possible to do work you love that positively impacts the lives of others and provides you with real income?
- Is it really true that the greatest desires of our hearts and our greatest accomplishments will always remain out of reach?
- Should we live with high levels of dissatisfaction with our work just so we can pay the bills?
- How do we know how we should invest our limited time, energy and resources?
- Is it really worth the pain and potential disappointment if you get in the game and really pursue big dreams/achievements?
In the past few years we have wrestled with what it means to live life to the full and to maximize our lives. The parable of the talents in Mt. 25 has given us a lot of traction in our journey towards living a more fulfilling life.
In the parable, three workers were entrusted with large sums of money by their master (a ‘talent’ at the time was equal to the amount a day labourer would make in 20 years!). One received one talent, another received two and the final one received five.
Three points stand out in the story:
- All that we are entrusted with- our influence, abilities, relationships, resources & calling- are of great value. The Master has entrusted us with true riches that need to be managed with care. We may receive varying amounts, but all of us have these true riches at our disposal.
- All that we are entrusted with belongs to the Master- and we are responsible for how we invest it. Everything we have is on loan from Him. We are to treat it like like it is our own (i.e.- with the utmost of care), but we are only the managers and He is the owner. The Master is good and abounding in generosity by entrusting so much to us and watching how we will creatively invest what his riches.
- All that we are entrusted with is to be grown, developed and multiplied. The man who did not grow what had been entrusted to him had missed the point entirely and misunderstood the heart of the master. The men who took risks and found innovative ways to bring the Master a big return on His riches got it right. The Master was so delighted with them understanding His generous heart that they were entrusted with more riches and greater responsibility. By taking calculated risks they ended up achieving more, experiencing more joy and being more fulfilled!
This means that each day, whether I feel like it or not, I must take steps toward stewarding well all that God has entrusted to me. In my world, this means that:
- I am always pursuing greater opportunities vs. settling for less
- I am constantly knocking on doors to see how far my giftings will take me
- I am caring for my friends and people in my network
- I am constantly learning and taking my skills/knowledge to new levels
- I am not resting on past achievements
- I am creating new products and services
- I am not waiting for someone to give me permission
- I am exploring non-traditional ways to approach business and ministry
I may not be as naturally talented as some people, but as I am diligent in my vocational pursuits I am seeing big gains. This past year has probably been the most full in my entire life, but I have been blessed to publish my first book and companion website, speak to 5,000 people, have my biggest month ever financially and support my family in their achievements. It takes daily diligence and focus to grow your ‘talents’, but it is only when you are going as far and as high as you can that you live a fulfilled life.
This is your challenge to do the same! Then, when your friends are asking questions like “Is anyone pursuing their dreams?”, you can answer wholeheartedly, “I AM!”
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