A Beautiful Purpose

Sunday, July 07, 2013

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It is an often used statement that one was "born to do something", or that it was "made for her." At the first, this sounds exciting. Everyone has a specially-designed role, predetermined by God - what will mine be? Pride, however, (in the words of Benjamin Martin) is a weakness. And we take it into our hearts that the one thing we were set out to do is the thing we want to do, not what God wants us to do.

I'm reaching a certain stage of my life where I'm not sure which direction is the next to take. I started dancing when I was 5 or 6 years old, and continued for two (three?) years. Then the studio closed down and I did gymnastics for 3 years. At this point, I was wanted to begin competing, which would involve travel all over the state, and later the country. Competitions were every weekend, 3 hours from home. Once I passed a certain level, they would be even further. It was too much for our very large family to devote their lives to only three of the children (two of my other sisters were also desired). This was also at a point where we discovered a Christian dance studio at a very comfortable distance from our house. We've been there (all of my siblings dance) for the past 4 years. Understandably, I have no desire to give up dance. It's my second home (being their about 1/3 of waking hours does that to you) and my extended family (the studio is uniquely inclusive). Part of me wants to go on and be a professional dancer, but I know that world is ugly and its componenets backstabbing. If it weren't for the intense competitive nature, I would gladly comit myself to my art after high school (dance colleges/companies/programs).

I digress. Writing is just as much a love as dance. If you want to read the long of it, click here. In short: I've been writing all my life, and no, stopping is not an option. I think most of us know how hard it is to not write. It sounds dramatic, but it is strangely true.

The story behind graphic design is simply that I didn't want the cookie-cutter templates you could get for free on certain websites, I thought the preset design Blogger gives you was hideous, and I certainly couldn't afford to spend $200+ on a website design. Google, Trial, and Error became my three greatest comrades, and now here I am. :)

And art in any form (fashion, photography, drawing/painting/collage-ing) has always appealed to me. (My goodness. See what I have to deal with? I also must note somewhere in here that of none of these trades am I close to being master. But let's not make this post about my determining skills, as we all know they measure a nice round zero. I have yet to discover exactly which one/two of these skills sets I'll hone in on and attempt to perfect.)

And yet, something has awakened in me this summer, a desire perhaps stronger than before (or perhaps my memory is prematurely failing) to do the Lord's bidding, even when it goes against all I want to do. It's certainly taken me a while to get here, and only by the boundless grace of the Lord. Heck, I was quite comfortable drowning in my sins before He pulled me out and I saw Sinner tattooed on my forehead. I'm begining to realize that it's not about how much content (literature, dance, photographs, etc.) I can put out into the world, it's about making anything that comes out of me praise the Lord. Every dance move, every word, every breath. (Note: I'm failing miserably at this, y'all. It's hard.
It's also worth it though. They don't tell you that part when you sign up, because they want you to drop out in the beginning.)

Yes, we were all born with a purpose. Each person's purpose it not glaringly visible - in fact, it's rather hard to track down, and the path is rather vindictive. But we must search. We must. And in the end, our sole purpose - however it is carried out - is to serve the One who made us. It seems listless and uninteresting from time to time. It is hard more often than not. And death is sometimes the consequence.
The reward, however, is Eternal Life.

2 comments

  1. When one is good at many things, it is sometimes hard to figure out which subject one ought most to pursue. It is very grueling to be a "renaissance man" and master many things in a single lifetime. And then when one is only moderately good in many things, one runs the risk of "Emma-Woodhousing" them, doing none of them well and all of them rather badly...

    I ran across this quote in J.C. Ryle's Practical Religion today which put me in mind of this post of yours. It is a little tangential, but you said your own piece so eloquently that I mean this piece as a mere addition.

    "The farmer need not give up his farm, nor the shopkeeper his counter, nor the doctor his patients, nor the carpenter his hammer and nails, nor the bricklayer his mortar and trowel, nor the blacksmith his smithy. Each and all cannot do better than be found doing his duty, but doing it as a Christian, and with a heart packed up and ready to be gone."

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    1. Thank you for that, Jenny! I'm afraid I am running the risk of "Emma-Woodhousing", but I trust God will clear out the distractions when the time is right. Who knows, perhaps all will come in handy in their turn...

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