Getting things in focus

You know, it’s useful to know who you are.  Now, before you all turn up your noses and scratch your heads in confusion, allow me to explain what I mean.  Are we defined by what we do?  Or what we aspire to do or be?  Or is our personality more important than our ability?  And can we ever really come to a conclusion without first reaching the end of our lifespan?  Big questions, and not necessarily easy ones.  Nonetheless, this is what’s been on my mind recently, and I think I’m beginning to come to a resolution at last.

My biggest problem is that I’m good at far too many things.  I made a list this evening of all the possible jobs or careers I would like to try, either from tasters I’ve had already or from sheer ambition and inspiration.  I managed to list 45 potential directions for my life, ranging from computer programmer to artist, professional guitarist to farmer, pastor to rally driver, novelist to teacher.  I also managed to rate those jobs in a rough order, to get an idea of which ones I most preferred, and thankfully the top ones were pretty much as I would have expected:

  1. Worship leader
  2. Guitarist
  3. Rally driver
  4. Actor (theatre)
  5. Band leader
  6. Bassist
  7. Blogger
  8. Musical Director (church)
  9. Racing driver
  10. Journalist

Reassuringly, I’m doing a lot of those already, or have done at some point.  More surprisingly, Web Designer was down in 18th place.  However, I do genuinely enjoy web design, and I’m pretty good at it too, but it is interesting how far from the top it ended up.  It was a useful exercise though, making sure I was clear on my focus in life.  With so many options to choose from, it’s not always easy to know which direction is best.

This morning I went back to visit Orchard Baptist Church, which I officially left just before getting married in the summer.  They were having a Men’s Breakfast again, which meant a nice cooked breakfast (sans meat, in my case), followed by a hearty Bible study.  This time we were looking at Corinthians 3:5-15 where Paul is talking about divisions in the church, and how he had built the foundation and others were building on top of it.  One of the many things we brought out of that passage was that Paul didn’t feel the need to do everything, but was rather quite content with just doing his one job and doing it well.  That was an important lesson for me, given how much I’ve been thinking about my focus in life recently.  What I took from that was that although I potentially could do a whole range of different jobs, I know that leading worship is the one that I am drawn to most strongly, and that that’s where God has been calling me for the last few years.  Everything else is fun to do, and I’m glad I’ve been blessed with such rich ability, but I must also be careful not to let that distract from my main objective – to praise God in music and song and lead His people effectively through it.

Incidentally, Ellie and I have decided that St Margaret’s Church, Colchester is the one for us at the moment, so we’ll be settling there for the foreseeable future.  Ellie has already been invited to lead (or at least have a hand in) the youth group, and I’m planning on speaking to someone at church tomorrow about joining the worship team in some way.  I shall continue with the web design business of course, despite it being further down the list, but more because I can’t realistically earn a living just from leading worship right now!  Maybe one day, but for now I need to rely on a solid source of income to support the two of us.  Nevertheless, when I’m not working on web sites, I shall have a clear desire to worship in every spare moment, whether there’s anyone around to hear or not!

That reminds me, I really must finish recording the Rooted album…

2 thoughts on “Getting things in focus

  1. Hmm, I don’t know what my calling is in life. I’m a software developer, but I think sometimes I only do it because I’m good at it, if you see what I mean! I don’t really know what else I’d do though, I mean, I’m not good enough at anything else to make a career out of it. Ah well, direction is overrated anyway :p

  2. Matthew,
    I’m with you on number 3 and number 9 :o). I’ve only met you a few times but I think number 10 would suit you well, would also provide you with an opportunity to express your faith, and some free time for the other 8 items on the list.

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