Most of my life has felt like a race with no clearly defined finish line. Running full speed ahead trying to achieve success, no matter what the cost.
The issue however was my definition of success. I defined and measured my success based on three criteria …. fame, fortune and power. I never really had a clear goal in mind, in fact this ‘destination’ I had never even clearly defined….all I knew was that if I achieved any combination of these three things I would be successful.
Since I had never achieved fame, amassed a fortune or acquired any power, I just kept running towards this unknown destination the world calls ‘success’. Even when I would hit a wall or stumble I would just pick myself up, dust myself off, turn and run in the other direction. As long as I kept running, regardless of the direction, I figured I would get there.
Then a few years ago my laces started to come undone. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t keep them tied in a nice pretty bow. I tried everything, double knots, new laces, everything short of trading them in shoes for velcro closures.
At first the stillness was uncomfortable, so unfamiliar. I would see my shoes with the tattered undone laces and long to run again. I would see others running, passing me and I would wonder how I would ever catch up. When would it my turn again?
However one beautiful sunny afternoon in my stillness, I looked around at my surroundings as if I was seeing it all for the first time. I twirled around looking in awe at the magnificance around me, trying to take it all in. I couldn’t believe how magical the world felt at that very moment, a feeling of joy washed over me, a joy I had never known. I wanted to pinch myself to make sure it was real. I couldn’t believe that this was my life.
I somehow forgot to just be still and praise God. To acknowledge that I was fearfully and wonderfully made to live this life, my life, not someone else’s, but mine (Psalm 139:14). It was in that moment of acceptance I realized that as long as I kept running toward my distorted view of ‘success’, putting the world front and centre in my life that I was selling my soul, fighting for this life instead of eternity, that I would never be content with where I was. I would never be able to just appreciate the moment. I would be oblivious to the beauty in the world that surrounds me and the miracle that is my life. I would never be able to step into my God given potential.
I finally had to ask, what is the point of worldly success if trying to achieve it you lose you soul? (Mark 8:36)
His for sowing