It’s been fully acknowledged that 2009 was a rough year. It was a year of major shifts, having shed or been shed of a destructive relationship, a church, and my job of twenty years. It also finally feels like I’m coming out of a near year long depression.

It’s easy to become risk averse. Life and responsibilities need to be met, and can make us afraid to take the risks necessary to do what you need or want to do. You can end up in a comfortable situation, make enough money to get by, and be dogged by the feeling that you aren’t where you want to be or doing what you’re supposed to be doing. I know that I had a position that allowed me a flexible schedule, and thus the time to do the stuff that really mattered to me. It became more readily apparent that my job no longer mattered to me, which is sort of the point: work became numbing and could be done on muscle memory. Until I couldn’t. It wasn’t fulfilling, wasn’t where I wanted to be, wasn’t what I wanted to do and it showed.

There’s a tension that we live in. Work is hard and it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t mean you have to hate it. It’s a matter of matching your passion to your need. I could never be a mechanic. We’ll ignore the fact that I couldn’t pick a wrench out of a line up and am not known for my ability to do physical labor. It’s just nothing that holds any interest for me. However, I have a friend who is a mechanic. You get him under the hood of a car, and it’s like watching poetry. Working with cars is his passion, he loves it, and he’s doing kingdom work. He donates his time fixing up cars for folks, helping out ministries when he can. His passion is infectious … though I still won’t be picking up a wrench anytime soon.

So I’m seeing this time as God’s permission to dream … within reason. Our safety net has been removed and we have to trust in our good Father for provision. As I try to move from occupation to vocation, having been freed to pursue who I am supposed to be and figure out where I’m supposed to be—as well as use my gifts and passions—I don’t want to be irresponsible either. It’s a lot easier to take risks when you are single and without kids. My wife, however, has apparently become accustomed to little things like insurance. And food. Now is a time for dreaming. Right now, I’m exploring the life of a freelance writer and what it means to use my gifts and passions in a missional sense.

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?