A few weeks ago I read a blog by Jon Acuff titled, Beware The Lady Gaga Problem. He referred to Lady Gaga’s most recent song, Applause, where she repeatedly sings, “I live for the applause.” Jon questioned his readers as to whether they are chasing a dream for the applause or because there is deeper meaning.
His post made me question my own motives in regard to my career. It seems as I get older, my dreams are leading me down a bit of a different path than in the past. My dream for years had been to work in the music industry, to be a part of the machine that spreads music, words, healing, comfort, and joy to people all over the world. Words have the ability to shape people, to help people. I love how music can be the vehicle for words to do those things, but after working in this industry for six and a half years I have to ask myself, am I working in the music industry because I have a real passion and purpose for it or do I work in the music industry because of the applause, because it’s a bit uncommon, yet sought after and can be fun and unique? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question yet.
Is this where God wants me to be, or are my gifts better suited to be focused elsewhere? I have to admit in the past couple of years my passion and purpose in the music industry seems to flicker in and out like the light beams from a candle in a pitch black room. Is the dream being tested or is the light being put out so a new light can shine in a different place?
Sometimes it’s really difficult to discern where you belong and what your biggest purpose might be, but I have to believe if we are moving forward based on the temporary applause, we will most certainly run into a dead end. Passion and purpose take shape around ideas that are much bigger than applause-seeking. Passion and purpose coincide with the gifts we are given. Passion and purpose have the ability to reach far into the lives of other people to make a lasting impact.
I’m absolutely not saying everyone in the music industry is seeking the applause. There are so many talented artists, writers, musicians, and industry folks that are utilizing their greatest gifts in the music industry. They very well are probably exactly where God wants them. However, it’s important for everyone no matter where they work or what they do to ask themselves why they do what they do.
Instead of following a dream for the applause, follow the dream you’d chase even if no one else was paying attention. Follow the dream that gives you passion and purpose in life.
What’s your greatest dream? Do you chase it for the applause?
Laughs and Love,