I always enjoy working outdoors because, well, I simply enjoy being outside. Oftentimes, working outdoors means I get a lot of foot traffic and have opportunities to talk to passersby’s – which can be very entertaining some days.
Recently, I struck up a conversation with a nice man for a few minutes and as he departed he said, “well, I can just tell you have such a passion for painting!”
Those words just hung in the air for a second…. ‘Do I have a passion for painting?’ ‘Wait a minute!.. how does he know what I’m passionate about?’ ‘Do I even know what I’m truly passionate about if I’m being honest with myself, or is this just something I do?’
So I thought about it for a good while. I imagined walking into a Home Depot and saying to someone buying a lawnmower, “I can tell you’re passionate about mowing grass!” Or saying to a teacher, “I can tell you’re passionate about grading papers!”
It’s like I always say, “Sometimes the thing isn’t always the thing!” The more I sat there painting and thinking that afternoon, the more my motivation became clear. It’s not the painting I’m passionate about… but the people I serve! The goal is never the painting. The goal is the end product, the finish line. The adorable nursery that makes a mom smile; the colorful mural that will make a new restaurant the talk of the town; or the hand-painted logo that makes a polished first impression.
It’s about doing for others what they can’t do for themselves – Service.
This statement isn’t said in pride, but in humility. There are many things I can’t do for myself either- and apparently painting my own home is one of them! We all have those gifts and those things that just come second nature to us. I could never fix my car, track the stock market, or arrive on the scene after a 911 call. And yet, I’m so glad there are people wired for this kind of service and passionate to do it!
I am passionate about the people I serve, their vision I help come to life, and knowing I get to play a small role in their happiness. And if part of that is painting? Well, bring on the drop cloths!