It took me seven years to finish my second masters degree, in theology. I was working full time and already had a credential (a masters in music), so there wasn’t much of a hurry.
I found that most of the people in my classes fit into one of two camps. One was young, not long out of college, eager to learn more in order to enter the working world. The other was “I worked as a corporate banker for 20 years and I just wasn’t fulfilled.”
Every time I heard that last trope I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking “What did you expect?” (although one time I said “I’ve got enough fulfillment for both of us…but can I borrow twenty bucks?”)
So there I was in the middle of these two groups, aware of the sacrifices that come with following your bliss, but also very aware of the rewards.
There’s a comic making the rounds that illustrates the words of Bill Watterson, about creating a life that “reflects your values and satisfies your soul”.
I wake up every morning excited to face the day, because I have had success in creating such a life. I’m not destitute (and I never was, and that’s why I had the privilege of constructing such a life), but I look at people who take vacations and have multiple homes and who don’t have to walk through the kitchen in their apartment to go to the bathroom, and I realize that those might be out of my reach, forever. It’s hard not to want what the world wants me to want.
But I’m happy, and proud of my life filled with music and God words and people. I have to remind myself it’s worth the sacrifice. The benefits far outweigh the promises of a big house or a yearly tropical vacation. May God guard me against covetousness and allow me to maintain the blessing of such a life.
Are you fulfilled by the life you (and your world) have created? What’s still standing in your way?