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Building your career vs. doing your dream (pt. 1)

I write a lot about faith – about how you have to do your dream. Saturday’s blog recounted how I did my dream in Swaziland despite innumerable obstacles. Sadly, in our risk-averse society, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who trade their dreams in on some stra…
By Seth Barnes

I write a lot about faith – about how you have to do your dream. Saturday’s blog recounted
how I did my dream in Swaziland despite innumerable obstacles. Sadly,
in our risk-averse society, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met
who trade their dreams in on some strange concept of security which end up becoming their “career.”

What do we know about careers?

  • We all have them, so
    it’s more about priority than an either/or decision.

  • Careers have to do
    with continuity within your chosen field – they are about
    process.

  • Careers are
    associated with a set of competencies.

  • Careers are tangible
    & public and are associated with a certain esteem by one’s
    peers.

In contrast, dreams exist in the heart and are very
personal.

career

  • Dreams invite
    naysayers and critics.

  • Dreams have a high
    failure rate.

  • Dreams require a
    great deal of commitment and passion if they are to become
    reality.

For some of us, the idea of a career has become an
idol. And idols

get in the way of dreams. In the belly of a whale, Jonah came
to faith and realized, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace
that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8) If you cling to a career, you could, for
example, forfeit a marriage.

1 John
2:15 says, “Do not love the
world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the
Father is not in him.” Reflect on those words for a second. Those are harsh,
stark words. If you’re not a Christian, you’re off the hook. It’s the rest of
us who claim to follow Jesus that have to struggle with them. They speak of
priority. Do we love anything in the world? Has our career become something of
an idol?

Of course we all need to be intentional and focused in
how we spend our working lives. Career planning helps us to do that. Careers
are predicated on someone else’s agenda. You perform and you’ll be rewarded.
It’s an endless series of quid pro quos. A career says, “You need to keep
climbing. If you’re not climbing, you’re not OK.”

There is greatness within each of us that is tied to a
dream and the pursuit of that dream. And a career says, “Do what’s prudent.
Make compromises. Don’t sell out to a dream.” Career climbing nibbles away at
the greatness in you and leaves you wondering, “What
if…?”

Careers
mortgage your dreams for someone else’s dream. They take the gonzo
craziness that is you, starch it and press it into a mold that looks
enough like you that you stay in the game, but at the end of the day,
you’re left thinking to yourself, “I wonder if I sold out?”

Part 2 tomorrow

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