It stated there was an amateur golfer who had no desire to become a professional. When asked just when it was he was going to start playing the game for money, he said that he was not interested in being anything but an amateur. He said the word amateur comes from the word amour meaning “love”. He loved the game of golf, and that is the only reason he wanted to play.
What is it that you love? Have you been striving to become a professional at it, or are you keeping the “love of the game” at the centre of your motivation?
As a Christian I believe that the reason I do anything I do, should be motivated by love for my Creator and Saviour, and love for those He has put in my care and in my contact, whether that be a relative, or someone I meet along the course of my day, and only exchange a few small words with, or a even just a glance with.
Have you lost the amateurs heart for what you do?
For those of us in “creative fields”, or for those of us who hope to be in one, it is easy to start to focus on the skills of the trade and lose sight of the reason we got into it in the first place. To the artists I say, do you paint to sell your art? To the audio editors I say, are you obsessing over quality and new gadgets, or do you have a love for the organization, creation and mixing of sound for the benefit and enjoyment of others? To the writers, have you begun to write for the accolades or do you write to allow God to release His words to those with ears to hear?
God wants us to have fun with what we do, so I am not saying everything we do has to be pushing Jesus on people. But I don't believe we should hide our love for God either. Using our talents for God does not simply mean using it to shove our beliefs at people. It means allowing God to direct and lead our talents so that His purposes are achieved. Sometimes God will have designed those purposes to be downright preachy; other times His purpose will just be designed so that we can have some fun using the talents He supplies.
What I really want to ask you to think about today is, have you lost the amateurs heart for what you do? There's nothing wrong with becoming a professional, someone who is paid for what they do, or even gaining some notoriety in your field among your peers. But is your focus on becoming that paid person or celebrity, or on the love of the game, and more importantly, your Love for your Saviour?
I can't count the movie plots I have seen, about a small town boy with an uncanny talent, who is suddenly “discovered” and thrust into the spotlight! Soon, he gains an ego the size of his sweeping popularity, and estranges the characters who were most dear to him. Sound familiar? As a matter of fact, there was a number of people in the Bible who got a swell head when they fell into their callings as well. In the Old Testament you can take King Saul for an extreme example. But even King David lost sight of the reason he was king at times, (let's not forget how he put his eyes on another man's wife, and let his heart go out more to a wayward son than to his God).
I sometimes say of one of the audio dramas I am currently working on (which is yet to be released) that I tend to fluctuate between loving it and wanting to abandon it. But I love God and know He wants me to work on this show. I often have said, “if I stopped writing this story, it would bleed out of me, God wants the story to come out.” If you ask God what to focus on, He will give you something you can do with love for Him. If it weren't for love of Him, there are many times I could, and would have given up in my life.
One final note: I recently watched a documentary with my family about voice over actors. One of them pointed out that you cannot do voice over for money. You have to do it because you love it.
If you try to do something for money alone, rarely will you see positive fruits of your labour. But if you do it for love of our God, then you may find that the fruits you want may or may not come (as the Lord so chooses). But what will happen, is that with or without monetary return, you will enjoy what you do.
May you find what the Lord would have you love, and may you love it as long as the Lord desires you to. Amen.
If you do it for love of our God... with or without monetary return, you will enjoy what you do.