Have you ever wondered what to do with a hobby or skill that you love?
One time when I was on a solo bicycle trip down the Mississippi, I stayed the night at the parents of one of my friends, who happened to live near my route. As we washed the dishes together after supper, the mother told me to be very careful on my journey. She shared with me how we each have a special calling on our lives and how important it is to be available to fulfill that calling. In other words, she was telling me to not die along the way.
The next several days her words rolled around in my head as I cycled through the hills and dales along the mighty river. Something about it didn’t seem to find peace in my heart, although I agreed with what she said! When you spend the bulk of everyday of a bicycle seat, you have a lot of time to think. The more I thought on her words, the more clarity I gained. What she didn’t understand, but what she helped me understand through her misunderstanding, was that going on bicycle trips IS part of my calling in life.
You see, it’s up to us to decipher what our calling is. No one around us can feel it as clearly as we can, and unfortunately, quite often the people around us actually discourage us from our callings. They can’t see the vision!
Sometimes we try to find a “purpose” for our skills and hobbies. We mistakenly think that if we aren’t using them toward some end goal, like building a business with them or bringing in a monetary profit, we aren’t doing it right. But I’d like to reposition that perspective. I think we fulfil a big part of our purpose when we simply offer our Creator the joy of seeing us reveling in, growing in, and using our talents.
There is a hidden gem in the ancient Hebrew texts that talks about women whose heart stirred with passion for creating.
“All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun goats hair.” (Exodus 35:26)
The context of this story is the Israelites are getting organized and setting up a temporary tabernacle after being freed from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Everyone is donating what they can to make it the best tabernacle they can make with the supplies they have. What I love about this sentence is that these women weren’t making a living from spinning, it was just their skill, their hobby, and when an opportunity came for them to use their skill for a big project, they were motivated and excited to use their skill to participate and serve. But they didn’t derive their worth or enjoyment from spinning only by their contribution to the tabernacle.
If you love sewing, I want to encourage you to not fall into the pressure of thinking it has to have some purpose other than that it brings you joy, and it brings you clothes you love. Using your talent and enjoying it is perhaps all you need to do to fulfill your purpose and bring joy to that which created you.
Do you ever fall into the trap of feeling like your sewing isn’t fulfilling a purpose if it’s not making you money? How do you remind yourself that just enjoying it is enough?