A Guest Post by Samantha Axberg (aka my eldest daughter)
“Find your calling” and “follow your dreams” are two frequently used phrases when dealing with young men (and women) that are looking for their path in life. They’re often interchanged as meaning relatively the same thing; however, I believe that they are completely different.
Here’s an example:
Bob wanted to be a Texas rancher. However, when he settled down and got married he didn’t have the resources to do so. So instead of jumping into debt and “following his dream” he found a steady job and through his hard work become one of the top ten business men in the company.
After a while (with quite a few children too=) Bob realized that he had the resources that his family needed to buy the ranch.
Today, Bob has a wonderful family on a 200 acre Texan ranch outside of Dallas.
Bob didn’t start with his dream, he started with his calling. His calling (at that point in his life) was to work hard and prepare to live his dream. At the time, Bob had no clue he was ever going to be able to settle on a ranch, but he knew that if he was ever going to, he needed the proper resources.
Many young people today start out with big dreams (I mean, really, who doesn’t?) that they want to accomplish NOW. So we have song writers, novelists, instrumentalists, etc. who can’t fully provide for their family because they started with the dream.
Before I go any further, I want to make one point clear:
I have dreams.
They may seem simple to you, but I want to be a wife and a mother who can be known as her husband’s business and home manager, counselor, and entrepreneur partner. I want to be a mother who can raise a rocket scientist son or a daughter who turns out as the mother of a President or even an Idaho potato king.
But, I’m sitting answering phones at my father’s property management company waiting for Mom to pick me up and bring me to physics class.
Not exactly what I’d call “Living the dream.”
That also may be because I’m seventeen, haven’t graduated, and have no clue how to grow a potato or build a rocket=).
(Maybe physics will aid in the rocket part… I digress.)
Back to my point, in order to get to the end, we must be willing to accomplish the means. Our calling when we’re eighteen may not be what we’re going to do forever (I think Dad wrote a post about that a while back…), but at least we’re doing something. We’re supposed to always be working, and working HARD. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” indeed!
There’s nothing wrong with being a song writer, novelist, or instrumentalist, but if you can’t provide for your family (or even yourself) you may want to figure out whether you should find another job. Maybe writing is just supposed to be a hobby with computer programming as your full time job. Or maybe you split your time between being on tour with the band and acting as an independent salesman. Who knows, but as young people (and not-so-young-people) let’s make sure we’re where God would have us, not just where we “dream” to be.
Someday our dreams may become reality like Bob, but for now let’s be content with answering phones and taking physics=).