I have to confess. It’s not very Christian but I have a bit on the side. You see, I just can’t stay solely faithful to my main thing.
Calling it my “main thing” sounds a bit dismissive of it. I really do love my main thing. I’m very lucky to have it. So many people have to make do with something second-best and not that attractive, and that’s why they’re driven to a bit on the side. Or their main thing doesn’t quite fulfil all their needs, so who can blame them?
I’m not in either position. I’ve got a fantastic main thing, it’s very life-fulfilling and I don’t feel like I would miss out on too much by sticking with it. But still. Everyone has a bit on the side right? And if everyone else is doing it, then why shouldn’t I?
OK, I need to come clean: I’m not talking about my wife and I’m not having an affair. In fact, I’m single. I’m actually talking about work.
I’m not lying when I say that I truly love my job. There are very few people that get to live out their passion. I get to help people, I get to use my skills. I could write reams about my passion, prose about my work, and poetry about my provision. It’s God-given, God-called, God-blessed and I’m fortunate to receive a decent enough salary to boot. So many others are less fortunate.
Yet still I want more. To do more. To be more.
I want to explore my other unique passions and dreams. For me, that’s communicating, writing and speaking. And so I write.
I really could sit back and do nothing. I think there’s something about our generation that says “why not” where others would sit back. Yet for too many of us there is no choice.
I remember watching my friend assist a challenged young man during the day whilst training to be a teacher. In the evening he’d hang up his work clothes, put on a different set and head to a fast food joint, working till 11pm to help save for his impending marriage. He simply had to do it to survive.
He’s not alone. So many of us struggle with sky-high rent and intern-level salary. We’re driven by a need to provide for ourselves.
Maybe you need but it’s deeply needed. Not sure what this means? Maybe you want to explore “you” more. Maybe you want to work for yourself.
This is our common experience, it seems, as a generation: to pursue and to chase our bit on the side.
If you’re in the place right now, of just needing to survive, know this: God will provide. Every generation must accept its lot and maybe this is ours to bear. But I see you, I hail you, I support you. So do your bit on the side for your family. Do it to make ends meet. Do it to survive in the big city where rents outstrip salary. If you have no other choice, may God be with you in your bit on the side.
And if you’re following your passion and your dreams and it never grows more than that bit on the side, then God bless you as you become fully all He called you to be. Someone who is rich in Him and richly blessed.
And finally, if your bit on the side overtakes and becomes your main thing, then I thank God for your opportunity. We celebrate you, we cheer you; know that many will one day hope to be you.
But one thing I ask for our generation: please don’t ever let God be your bit on the side. Make Him your whole. Let Him permeate through your every waking moment; your every dream and move.
He will overtake all your life and fulfil every moment. He is your answer and your deepest dream.
So hear this: wherever you are right now, flourish. Grow. Be a garden. Let God grow you in every direction.