Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It's rather obvious that I've neglected my blog, isn't it? Whenever one of you mentions my neglect it always surprises me that you notice. Today I realized that I had neglected to update my reading report. I began to read Three Cups of Tea - the story of how Greg Mortenson (a former mountaineer) was inspired to dedicate his life to building schools in Pakistan and Afganistan. I do feel that I keep meeting all of these social entrepreneurs who've dropped everything to follow their calling. (Some of the "meetings" are not in person, but they feel just as real to me.)

It's really rather biblical - you know - "set down your fishing nets and follow me."

For months I've said that my role is to follow someone like that - that I could never do it myself. Perhaps that's true, but mostly because I'm not certain enough about finding ONLY ONE true calling for myself. (I don't know what non-profit I'd start that doesn't already exist.) That's not the only reason, however. I'm half of our family's income, and although I plan to make less when I (FINALLY) find my true professional calling, there is a limit to how low I can go. These are the times when I do regret that when I was young and independent, I failed to go off to live in an inner city and work for the poor. I could have done it then. I didn't have kids who needed stability and a mortgage.

But is that really just a cop out? There have been many people who have followed their heart, shunning financial security, and even taking their family with them on their missions.

Right now that doesn't seem right for me but when I'm completely honest with myself, I fear that the reason it's not right is because maybe I'm STILL not listening to my true calling. I think I'm like the rich man in the New Testament parable. He asked Jesus how to get to the kingdom of heaven (i.e. - in my interpretation, find true love and joy in life) but was unable to bring himself to sell all his worldly goods and give the money to the poor. He left sadly - unable to follow his heart.

I don't want to be like that. How do I completely open myself up to the truth? The only way is to risk hearing a command that might undermine my security. If it just affected me, that would be one thing - but how can I risk the security of my family?


Renee said...

There's no way this can be an all or nothing scenario. I don't think you have to be poor to be happy. Have you thought about working part time? The attorney in my office works part time and it allows her time to be with her kids and volunteer and basically just have time for your soul. Many places now even offer benefits for part-timers. It would allow you to continue having an income but also allow you to really follow this urge or calling that you're having.

This is the topic you've blogged about more than any other. I can tell it's weighing on you because you keep coming back to it. Maybe going part-time can give you both worlds?

JennInAustin said...

That's really not a bad idea at all. Thank you!