I’ve been reading. Nothing new there. Due to the mountainous volumes of material to read, I’m learning to slice, dice, and focus on opportunity reading that means something to me. I’ve been listening to podcasts and webinars, overflowing with instructions to direct me to a better life. Does anyone else see a skywriter pulling a banner that says “Trending now … this way to a better life. Be more!”? When I opened my email this morning, I said “Good morning, Lord. Thank you that this was the very first thing I read. “As for me, I will sing about your strength; I will praise your loyal love in the morning. For you are my refuge and my place of shelter when I face trouble.” Psalm 59:16 OK – I don’t expect to face trouble today – but just in case, God planted His words right there where I could see them. He promises to be my refuge and place of shelter. Always a good thing.
Let’s talk about that trend though. The one that assumes we are all living deficient lives. I love listening to the energy of the speakers and am motivated by reading articles where I’m encouraged to grow beyond the boundaries of my comfort level. I have to admit though that it’s easy to OD on those bits of information that perpetually infiltrate my thinking and set my mind on overdrive to always do more, be more, have more. What that makes me is more drained than more filled. I wish I could look up at that skywriter and see banner that says – Trending now … You are Enough.
Am I the only one who still questions if they are living their life to its full potential? Do we ever stop asking that? Are we supposed to stop asking? See? I struggle with that. When is it OK to be content? Is it OK to be satisfied with where we are? I think it is OK to acknowledge being in a comfortable place, life is good. I don’t think that God ever intended for us to stop developing and growing though. When God created life, he included an interesting feature. Life is made to divide, multiply, regenerate, grow …. if it’s not doing that – well, it’s over.
This is my story – You have one too. I hope this encourages you to keep growing forward and being enthusiastic about being the unique person God created you to be. Psalm 139 starts out “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me.”
I look ahead and see a jungle of opportunity. I look back and see pools of experience, all of them defining who I’ve become. Therein lies the dilemma. At this fork in the path, which way do I turn? When I examine my roots and remember from childhood what I thought would make me successful and happy, I realize what I loved then, still follows me around today like a pet that won’t leave.
When I was 12, I was certain that I would be an author of books, but today I am just as certain that I will not.
Later I was convinced that I would write and deliver strikingly demonstrative training to hundreds of people who were trying to find their way. Today, I am just as convinced that I will not.
Persuaded that the future belonged to experts in technology, I bought a computer and read every article and book recommended to me on the subject of development and testing with the side benefit of writing. I have discovered that technology advances so quickly, it requires a dynamo. I am not a dynamo. In fact, I barely keep my head above the water at low tide – but I keep paddling just enough to keep from drowning.
I love all the nuances of project management, tracking and measuring and finding more effective ways to make things better. Because of my drive to always be learning, my favorite activities are research and writing. So where I am going with all this? Even nearing the age of retirement, I have a future and know that every decision I make has a consequence; could be good, could be bad. I know myself by now and know my love of reading, writing, and being supportive of others. I wonder am I the only one who wants to live a productive life and finish strong, knowing that they made a difference? I don’t have to wonder – I know if you are reading this, you want to leave a legacy that says “I made a difference.”
Of all the things in life I want to do, I’m really not all that great at any of them. But I am a highly skilled helper, friend, and encourager. None of those will ever be found on an annual salary chart. In fact, God has no salary chart. Matthew 6:1 (CEV) “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.” I am touched by this verse in Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…It is the Lord you are serving.”
So am I the only one who is happy with their life, thankful for all the threads of experience but still question if they are on the right path, one that will carry them productively through their twilight years? Am I the only one who never wants to coast, who wants to make a difference, even if I will never be at expert level? Who wants to have influence even though they have not advanced far from the bottom rung of the ladder? Is it OK to be content to be a servant leader, silent and supportive, but satisfied where you are? I wonder. Psalm 139 ends “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Trending now …. You are enough!