"What can I do? What can I do?" That phrase ran 'round and 'round in my head as I pondered what I should be writing about. Other phrases followed soon after: "What gets tweeted? What gets shared on Facebook? What gets pinned? What sells??"
Because, after all, that's what this is all about, isn't it? We all want to be affirmed for our efforts. We want to be appreciated for our contributions. We want to be paid for our work. And there's nothing wrong with that.
But if the filter I'm applying to everything I'm doing here is whether it will sell, it may be time to change filters.
Honestly, I want to do work that will be valued. In the world of buying and selling, it's easy to focus only on the market value of things. In general, market value is based on the law of supply and demand. The greater the demand for a product or service, the more resources people will trade to obtain that product or service. It's a simple concept, really; an item is valuable not because of its existence, but because people are willing to pay to obtain it.
But market value isn't the only kind of value. Some things are valuable in and of themselves. That's called intrinsic value. Those things might not be marketable, but they're very valuable. Many of the most important qualities of our lives really can't be measured in market value. Thanks to the Beatles, we all know that money "can't buy me love." But love is not the only thing money can't buy. It can't buy peace. Or joy. Or goodness. Or faithfulness. If we have to sacrifice things of intrinsic value in order to obtain things of market value, we're making a bad trade.
To tell the truth, I'd be delighted to have commercial success. I'd love for one of my posts to be shared thousands of times. I'd love for one of my pins to go viral. Who wouldn't? There's certainly nothing wrong with that. It's great to have that as a goal. But there's something else to which I need to be more dedicated than to reaching my goals. I need to fulfill my calling. A calling comes from God: it's that work that God has in mind for us to do, that particular way we are called to serve, that special work in which we can both glorify God and serve people.
Now, some people are called to work that provides financial reward, and then they are called to glorify God with those resources. I know a number of people like this, and they are such a wonderful example to me. I praise God for their faithfulness. But if I'm completely honest, I'll admit that it's easy for me to become a little jealous of their success--and that's not good. I need to steer clear of that territory.
The bottom line for me is this: If I can reach my goals within the context of fulfilling my calling, that'll be great. If I have to sacrifice my calling in order to reach my goals, then my goals need to change. I'm the kind of person who needs to stop periodically and assess how I'm doing with this.
Having a blog is part of my calling, I believe. And within the context of blogging, my calling here is to impart grace--to reflect the love and goodness and generosity of God in everything I do. That might not sell very well, but it's still my calling.
Is this something you think about? What's your calling?