I played guitar in high school, and I wanted to minor in Digital Media. Guitar playing requires this little thing called rhythm. Digital media includes having the perspective to see the minute details. I had a desire to pursue the guitar and digital media, but they did not match how God wired me.

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My brother-in-law Chris took the picture above. He picked up a camera a few years ago and has continued to develop this love while also having the skill to see photos before clicking the button. I have a couple of friends who play in a band called Pompton Lakes. You can see the joy of them playing for practice or on stage.

When I think over my pursuit of digital media and guitar, I reflect on these individuals. They have passion, giftedness, and ability in these areas. They have grown and developed.

Maturity means having an honest conversation about passion, giftedness, and ability. You and I know people who have found a rhythm in these three characteristics. We also know people who play off beat with these characteristics.

I wonder how often we try to pursue areas where we have passion, but no giftedness or ability. It’s a challenging and honest conversation with ourselves. American Idol brought us singers out of tune. People call themselves event planners but do not manage the details well. You can observe this in people in sports and art too.

Maybe we pursue these passions out of a genuine interest or at times we do it out of the comparison of others or wanting recognition.

Strangely, people believe in developing giftedness and ability, but it seems we rarely talk about developing a passion. When we can realize how God has wired us with gifts and abilities, perhaps our passion can get developed by helping and serving others.

We no longer have to confine ourselves to a particular gift or ability. In finding the truth about ourselves, we can find the freedom to serve and make a difference in ways God wired us.

How do we find out about gifts and abilities? Take the gift assessments, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,  and StrengthFinder. Even more importantly, ask the people around you, “What gifts and abilities do you recognize in me?” Allow them to have permission help you observe your life and God might speak through them to show you how you can help others.

In having the honest conversation with ourselves, we might find out that our passion does not line up with our giftedness and ability. I had to find out the truth about playing guitar and digital media so I could appreciate people like Chris and Pompton Lakes, but also to free myself develop and grow in the gifts and abilities God gave me.

What passion have you pursued that does not line up with your gift or ability? What gifts and abilities do others notice in you? How might God call you use those to serve others?

Photo credit by Chris Mason Design.