“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ” Jeremiah 29:11
The verses above are personal favorites. One of them has only recently become a favorite. I spent many years doubting that I was “fearfully and wonderfully made” but that is a story for another time. Maybe. These verses are only a few of the scriptural references that state each human being is here with a specific purpose included in their design.
So why do we look at some passions and discount their value as a part of one’s God-given design? Why do we buy into the belief that some parts of our “design” are somehow less honorable than others?
It’s no secret that I love the theater. I mean, I LOVE the theater. I am on the board of a local community theater and had a committee meeting this past week at the theater. Most of us got there a little early and watched the rehearsal for the next show on the calendar. I got a thrill just from watching the theatrical process at work. Yes, I’m such a theater geek that I get jazzed just watching a show in rehearsal! I told my husband later “I felt like I was home.” The crazy thing is, I’ve never actually been on-stage in that particular theater!
My passion for musical theater was placed in me on purpose and with a purpose. I am in a city that had very little for teens who were interested in musical theater. The high schools do a musical each Spring and the community theater I mentioned before does a show around Christmas time for teens and kids. But that’s it. I am blessed to be a part of a church that has chosen to provide space for a youth theater every summer and fill a need in this community. We give teens another theatrical experience to participate in and I’m thrilled to get to be a part of it!
A few years ago, someone (a fellow believer) asked me when I was going to “grow up and stop all this theater ‘nonsense’ “. I don’t remember exactly how I answered but I VIVIDLY remember how I felt. Ashamed, frivolous, shallow . . . I took this person’s words to heart and I shouldn’t have. I’ve gotten beyond that now thanks to wonderfully supportive friends and my hubby who is my biggest fan.
I will never choose to give up my “theater nonsense”. It’s as much a part of my design as my eye color. God gave me the passion for a purpose and I intend to keep using it until He says otherwise.
I make this promise to my fellow Jesus-followers: when I see you at work in an area of passion, I will celebrate your design with you, pray for your impact in your little corner of the community and cheer you on (even if I don’t fully understand why that particular activity interests you!). After all, I could never do the work you are doing or touch the hearts that you are touching so I need you right where you are doing exactly what you are doing!