All I ever think about is tomorrow.
I guess it isn’t my fault. Throughout junior high, and then high school, in increasingly frequent intervals, I was repeatedly met with the question “What do you want to do with your life?”
I was that kid with the big dreams, the elaborate plan of execution, and the dead-set desire to make it reality. I didn’t understand how anyone COULDN’T have a plan of attack for the big world that awaited us after high-school graduation. Instead of spending time worrying about how to reclaim the fickle friendship of the popular crowd I spent my free time at Springboro High School dreaming about one day managing an incredible Christian musician who simultaneously rocks hard and shares the Gospel with the watching world.
In a dramatic plot twist, three months ago I tentatively (yet eagerly) began to release my grip on this dream. (Okay at this point I should turn off Taylor Swift’s song “Never Grow Up”, which is playing in my ears right now and making me really sentimental). I set down the story of my ambitions I was writing in exchange for one that I thought read a little bit more like my autobiography.
I chose radio.
Radio, with its subtle lure.
I often hear seasoned professionals say that they were bitten by “the radio bug” some point in their career, and once they were hit there was no way out. There is something noble about reaching people across radio waves. Somehow a DJ is talking and you are hearing them as currents travel across invisible waves. You’re kidding yourself if that concept doesn’t blow your mind.
As much as I love the idea of radio, of DJing on a station and talking to listeners, since I started channeling all my creative energy, all my daydreaming and effort, into being the best on-air communicator I can be my fear has been amplified. Literally:
I fear my own inability. Deep down, I’m quite confident I’m not good enough. So I rely on the opinions of others and their commendations to get me by. I train myself to be technically better. All the while, I have no idea if I’m really any good or if I’m just convincing myself that I am.
Do you know what I’m learning?
It doesn’t matter what anyone says about me and my abilities. My talents are a fraction of who I am. I need to stop acting as though they’re my salvation.
It’s ludicrous to think that I’m just going to impress the heck out of so-in-so and eventually get to where I want to be.
Do I actually trust God AT ALL!?
As soon as trust in the Lord comes into the conversation, I’m immediately convicted. Because, if I’m honest, I think that the responsibility to accomplish (or fail) to achieve my dreams rests solely in my hands. With a career like radio…it’s do or die. I either completely kill it on-air: I’m honest, passionate, articulate, relatable, personable, likable, and moving, or I blow it.
My worth, far too often, is based on my performance.
Why do I consistently believe such a blatant lie?
This whole screwy attitude makes me look around at my talented friends and feel incredibly small. I stop looking ahead toward the prize and like a horse without blinders on, I get hit sideways by jealously, insecurity, and selfish ambition. I hate these attributes in myself and even writing them down feels dirty and human. How I long to be more holy.
Maybe you’re like me and once you wrap your head around a concept you can’t let it go. In fact, you refuse to. It’s your passion, and consequently, it consumes you. You wake up and you think about how you can get one step closer TODAY. You can’t sleep at night because you’re wide awake buzzing after a conversation about it. When you’re in, you’re ALL in. The methods change. Your thought patterns come back around to what professionals would do in your situation. You set up stepping stones in your mind of what you need to tangibly do to get THERE, and once you get THERE where you plan on going next, and suddenly your whole life is wrapped around this one idea.
I just drew a caricature of myself. So I want to do radio now? Predictably for someone like me, I quickly latch onto the words of a professional I admire and focus in on a company I would love to work for. I become a student of the station – but not just any student. I’m the overeager kid, the one who always raises her hand and chips in, referencing the extra reading she’s been doing on the side. She’s the one the rest of the class hates but the teacher appreciates. Like ivy to a tree, I find myself wrapped tightly around my dream of working for this station, clinging to my construct of affirmation, folly, and blind hope.
It’s great to be passionate.
It’s not great to wrap your entire life around your dreams.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness”.
God gives us talents and abilities to use for his glory. Should we structure ourselves in such a way to make much of God with what we’ve been given? Absolutely.
But should we cling to our ideal situation at all costs? Should we build ourselves this little world in which our pride is satisfied, insecurities are addressed, and competition is eliminated?
I know there’s something wrong in my heart when I find rejoicing with those who rejoice difficult. My natural inclination is to celebrate the accomplishments of the people I love. The second my own pride prevents me from wholeheartedly embracing the success of another person I know there’s something pervading my heart that needs to die.
This is my confession: I don’t trust God.
I don’t trust Him to provide for me in the same way He’s providing for my friends. I don’t trust that His plans are greater for me than I could ever imagine. I don’t trust Him to be faithful even though He’s proven His faithfulness for me OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
The second I tell someone to “Just trust God”, my own heart testifies against me:
“You hypocrite!! You don’t trust God to provide, how can you tell her to?! Practice what you preach!”
There it is: the hideous root of it all. All the insecurity. All the jealousy.
All the selfish desires.
I find it extremely difficult to trust the Savior who endured the cross. How insidious. May the Lord change the desires of my heart!
Derek Webb, in his extremely honest song “Wedding Dress”, sings
Could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide?
Christians should wrap themselves around the needs and desires of their brother and sisters for their good and their flourishing. That looks like having the selflessness to say, with full joy and excitement:
“Hey, you succeeded and YOU DESERVE IT. You are an incredible person with an immense amount of talent and I want to mirror the heart of God for you. I revel in your accomplishments. When you succeed, I succeed. Your joy is my own.”
Despite my perceived insufficiencies, I want to wake up everyday and say to the Lord, “I believe today that You are a provider”. And truly know and believe it with every ounce of me. God is still a provider if I’m at Station X like I want to be. God is still provider if I’m down in Nashville working on something else. GOD IS STILL PROVIDER IF I HAVE NOTHING TO MY NAME AND NONE OF MY DREAMS COME TRUE.
Do I love God more than the things I want from Him?
God, become my Dream. Become my Passion. Become my Ambition.
this is my prayer for myself and for us, Church.
As always, some pictures to illustrate my life this last month: