I stumbled across the Bloggers Meetup in Atlanta quite by accident. One blog had led me to another, which led to yet another and then I saw the announcement. I knew I would be out of my element, but paid my $5 on a whim and decided it would be worth it. My friend, Allison, and I planned our strategy–divide and conquer. I maybe briefly asked the Lord to let me conquer a very attractive husband candidate. We showed up and quickly began the awkward mingling that accompanies these kinds of events. Only at a blogging event can everyone be on their phones at once and it isn’t considered anti-social; it’s their job. Ok, I maybe led with that line a couple of times. (Seriously though, how are you supposed to start conversations with random strangers, most of whom are more comfortable behind a computer??)
It didn’t take more than five minutes for me to realize my fatal mistake.
I had planned for a lot of things. I prepared to be social. I thought through the cardigan. But I was somehow completely unprepared for the obvious question, “So, what do you do?”
Cue the deer in headlights look.
I stumbled my way through the first couple of answers, umm, I used to work at a missions, well, I traveled the world for 11-months, background…youth ministry, transitioning…Quilt! I made a quilt!
I felt misleading calling myself a “blogger”. I have a blog if that’s what you mean?
I hated missing the simple answer, I work for a missions organization.
And when asked if I had a business card, I mentally designed this one:
Searching for a Title
would you like to give me one?
What’s that? That’s called a resume? Oh, right.
I’m sure there’s a lesson about identity in there somewhere.
Child of God
what else do you need to know, right?!
given a cape and a nice tiara I could save the world.
But that night it was more a question of purpose. Purpose is so often defined by the thing you do. The confines of a job description, the structure of a 9-5, the routine of Starbucks on the morning commute and happy hour after work. It’s defined by titles and evaluations, progress reports and conversion rates. It’s determined by the next measurable goal and how many’s and how much’s and how far’s.
And so when those are gone, when your purpose can’t be contained in a title or printed on a business card, how do you sum up your answer?
So, what do you do?
Well, some days I stay in my pajamas all day reading blogs and writing my own; some days I put the most vulnerable pieces of my life on display so that somebody else can hear, “me too”; some days I worship at the top of my lungs, through muffled tears and victorious shouts because I don’t believe in doing anything half-heartedly; some days I remind people who they are so that they can get on with doing the thing they’re called to do; some days I say the thing that nobody else will say because it has to be heard; some days I make (bad) art just to taste a little of the pride and satisfaction God feels when he looks at me; some days I take one step towards saving the world, and some days I fall flat on my face so that when evening comes I think, “you wasted your shot at today.” Some days I make sure children in Uganda eat , and some days I just eat too many cookies.
But next time I’ll have a business card. And because that doesn’t fit, mine will say:
truth speaker. foot stomper. storyteller. and un-cager of creativity.
one day at a time.
What about you? What would your business card say if you stripped away the title and job description?
Image Credit :: iamchrislewis (creative commons.)