Amy enjoys baking cakes. First, it's just for her children but when other moms' see her epic cakes at birthday parties and start placing orders for their kids' parties, she's really encouraged. Lots of enthusiastic people tell her, "you should do this for a living."
It would be nice to spend her days doing what she loves, Amy thinks. Time passes, cakes are baked, money changes hands and before long, Amy's Cakery is now registered with the local chamber of commerce. These delicious desserts beat the odds and Amy's Cakery thrives. But where is Amy?
-Writing training manuals for her teenage staff
-Searching for the highest quality Vanilla extract at the best price
-Making her weekly supply run to Costco, buying as much flour and sugar as her Subaru can carry...and then stopping abruptly to deal with an overflowing toilet in the shop's main bathroom.
She's doing everything BUT baking cakes.
Misty's story is a little different. She wants to be a rock star. She sings, writes original music and loves nothing more than performing on a stage for an eager audience. She's passionate alright, but she's not willing to move to Los Angeles, New York or Nashville and grind for an undetermined amount of time for the chance to become the next Taylor Swift. So she gets her degree in mechanical engineering, accepts a sweet job making buckets of money in the city of her choice, starts a band--because that's her passion, and rocks out on weekend gigs singing mostly covers but a few of her originals too.
Who's living the dream? Or maybe the better question is, why does so-called "passion" have to be decisive in career choice?
I get the concept that if you "do what you love" you'll probably be really good at it and by consequence, successful--whatever that means. Yet it seems that whenever skills are monetized, some of the luster is lost. Now projects have deadlines, customers have expectations and sponsors have control.
Of course I hope you'll have contentment on the job and satisfaction with your effort--but skillful, quality work doesn't necessarily go hand-in-hand with "passion." As Christians, we're supposed to do everything for the glory of God--even basic necessities like eating and drinking are to be done with Him in mind (1 Corinthians 10:31). We're also supposed to work heartily and enthusiastically--not because it's our favorite thing ever--but because we're ultimately working for the Lord, not merely our supervisor. (Colossians 3:23).
What if you ask God what you're supposed to do with your life? Considering He gave you the gifts you have in the measure you have them, you can trust He's got a plan to use them well. This might look like attending the school you can afford, learning a trade that's introduced in your high school, availing yourself to trends in the market and pursuing a career that'll get you hired...so you can actually afford to be passionate on your day off. It also might look like working jobs you aren't crazy about but building a great reputation while you're there. Because if there's one thing we should be passionate about, it's knowing God. And He can meet you anywhere.
Your interests and abilities should influence a career. God gave them to you to glorify Him and those giftings may lead you to fill a role that only you can--I'm just suggesting another way of defining success. And a j-o-b that pays the bills, maybe even provides health insurance and a retirement plan so you can spend your weekends baking cakes or jamming with your band sounds like a win to me.
"Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before you. "