John and I have been enjoying watching “The Voice” together this season. We had never watched it before but for some reason the set-up for this reality show is more engaging than other singing shows. It’s a little less cutthroat-feeling and it’s fun to see the coaches argue with each other. It’s also interesting hearing people talk about their dreams.
In the course of the show, the contestants give mini-interviews and many of them speak about getting confirmation of their “callings” when they’re picked for the next rounds. Initially the choices are up to the coaches and then it becomes an audience voting system as the show progresses.
This gives me pause. I wonder how all the pieces really go together. Talent. Calling. Recognition, “making my dreams come true” “showing America who I am” etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great way for these people to get onto the career paths they’re looking for and affirmation of our talents is something all of us look for . . . but what happens when the validation stops? When America stops voting for you?
If voting validates your calling, what happens when the next vote sends you home?
There’s a tricky balance to handling the input we get about what we’re doing with our lives. Sometimes, its essential to hear the message from those around us because we’re deluding ourselves. Other times, we have to ignore outside opinion to continue forging ahead. We have to be careful who we lean on because I think it’s possible to have callings that no one else validates for us. Or maybe not in such a definitive way. If we wait for cues from others to move forward, we risk missing out on our callings. Knowing who you are and trusting yourself is crucial. At the same time, we can really be blind and needed wise advisers who can speak truth to us.
I see I’m back to the balance theme. Wow, I feel like that happens to me all the time (see my Nuance post?)
The contestants left on The Voice are all extremely talented people. They definitely have vocal gifts. There aren’t delusions about talent at least. But I wonder if there is still blindness about what following the music dream is supposed to look like. Should they all get record deals and start down the path of touring and concerts? Maybe but maybe not. Are they all called to serve with their voices? Probably . . . but the way those callings play out may look very different than winning The Voice – in fact for most of them it will have to look different – there is only one winner after all. Their career as artists may not follow the “path of success” they think they need to be on in order to fulfill their callings. I hope they realize that when America likes someone else a little more in the next round of voting.
So what’s our takeaway since most of us don’t have superstar singing skills we’re currently displaying on a TV show? Well, I think it’s just good to think about where we’re looking for validation. What are the things you think should happen for you to feel affirmed/confirmed in your calling? Who are the people you think should do that for you? Are they the right people? Is the affirmation or confirmation from others truly necessary? Is it possible that you’re already pre-approved by the very Person who gave you your gifts in the first place and wants you to steward them for his glory?