I’ve worked for eight years as a barista at Starbucks. I’m good at it. I like being known as competent, helpful, and valuable.
I’m walking away from what I'm good at to write, something I haven’t done full-time in 20 years. You know how people say that doing something you haven’t done in a while is just like riding a bike? Once you learn you never forget and you can easily pick it up again? I’m not finding writing to be like that at all. It’s a lot harder.
As I’ve questioned what I’m looking for from my writing, I’ve realized what this new job is missing: measurable approval.
The world’s approval is addictive. I give my best, and if the world likes it, it applauds and pats me on the back. It feels good.
But the world’s approval is also fickle. One day my best is good enough, and the next it’s not. It makes me feel like I’m chasing my tail. That makes me sick to my stomach.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said this: “All the work and skills people develop come from their desire to be better than their neighbors. Even this is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.”
God wants to free me from my need to perform for anyone’s approval. His unconditional love offers security that approval never can. All I have to do is accept it.
Why is that so hard?