I just finished watching “It Might Get Loud” and was totally inspired and challenged. For those of you who have not seen it, it is a documentary of a meeting between The Edge (U2), Jack White (The White Stripes), and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin). It is the story of these three men and their dedication to their craft as three highly influential and very diverse guitarists.
Each of these men started off impressed by people who came before, and each is deeply dedicated to the perfection of their craft. The documentary shows them playing old records and tapes of artists who inspired them. There is a scene where Jimmy Page is in a room filled with 45s, Records, CDs, tapes and he walks that room not as a collector but as a student. He listens to old records and knows every note – you can tell these are the things that moved him to write and record the music Led Zeppelin produced in the 70s.
None of these three men started off as an amazing musician. Each of them began life in a relatively average way. But because of a gift from God, a little courage to take creative risks, and a lifetime of hard work, they have become living legends.
They are each extraordinary guitarists. If I was a person who used the word “epic” – it would apply here.
It made me think. I have always been a person of many passions. I never related to people who didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wanted to be everything. My problem was narrowing it down. In my life I have had many jobs, I have sold wigs and traded stocks, made graphics and edited video, been in ministry and traveled to produce massive corporate events. Even now I am in school with my purpose being a complete career change.
I have always related to the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” and struggled with the question of whether or not I will ever be truly extraordinary.
This documentary made me question, again, what my one thing is. Am I, in my random weaving life of careers and jobs, average at everything because I haven’t specialized?
During the three months of therapy that changed my life, my therapist asked me what was my purpose in life. I looked at her blankly and said, “to help people? That’s what makes me feel fulfilled.” She looked at me and simply said, “No. Your purpose as a Believer is to bring God glory. Until you figure that out and start to live like it – you’ll be miserable.” At the time, I struggled to understand. It seemed too simple and yet incredibly difficult. But even tonight, her words rang true.
If my purpose in life was to perfect one craft, one career, or one skill, then yes – my randomness absolutely would hamper my success. If Jimmy Page had continued to pursue painting as well as music professionally it is likely he would have been, at best, moderately successful in each. But I am a bit different. If I really believe that my purpose is bringing God glory in the places He leads me – my winding road then becomes a tool He uses to make my one thing stretch into many diverse realms.
So I have to watch myself here and not measure my success as the world measures success. I was not a great stockbroker, or a great graphic designer. I will hopefully be a great nurse, but that is not my primary goal in my career change. My definition of success, my documentary at the end of my life, will be the people I have influenced in the many spheres in which the Lord has allowed me to roam. I haven’t always understood this, and certainly haven’t always been faithful. I remember with shame years wasted in selfishness where I was no light, love, or encouragement for anyone. But I press on, forgiven, and asking the Lord to redeem the years the locusts have eaten and somehow even use those years.
At the end of my life I pray that people were turned towards the cross:
- When I was an Admin at a brokerage firm
- And a Communications Director
- And a video girl
- And a single woman
- And a wife
- And a mom
- And a Facebook friend
- And a blogger
- And a student
- And a nurse
- And an adoptive mom
- And even an unemployed person
Do I really believe that I can bring God glory in those realms? Yes. By His grace and in His power, I can. If at the end of my life, those things have been accomplished by God’s grace and for His great glory, well then, it just might get loud as I rejoice in finally having found and accomplished my “one thing.”
The documentary is fantastic. As a creative person – it made me want to paint and write and be fearlessly brilliant. Watch it – you’ll be inspired.
Absolutely love this. Totally relate. I think between the two of us we might have hit every career field out there. Thank you for sharing what you’ve realized to be the purpose behind all of it, because at times I do feel a bit pointless in my wanderings. But this is spot on! I love the idea that the Lord is just using us to shed light in as many areas as possible. Love you sister!