On the outside it may seem that I have my life together. I own a house that is within walking distance to the Pacific Ocean. I have a wife that is my best friend and a woman I fall deeper in love with every day. I drive a German automobile and have a job that allows me the opportunity to learn and work with people who bond together like family. I have set and achieved goals that many people only dream of. My phone rings daily with requests for guidance, advice and direction.
On the outside it may seem that I have my life together, but I realize more each day that nothing could be further from the truth.
I am broken. I find myself judging the world around me in some sort of convoluted effort to validate my own failures. No matter how successful I have become, I wonder why I am not as successful as the next guy. Why my townhome in San Diego isn’t a house on the beach with a guest house in the back yard. Why my paycheck takes care of my mortgage, but doesn’t allow me to buy the latest road bike. Why I pass by the homeless, but spend $5 on a latte. I wonder why, although I have been blessed with so much, I’m not as far along as I thought I would be at this stage of my life.
I had lunch this week with a friend of mine. He is an older-than-me gentleman from my church that works in my same industry. After chatting off-and-on about business opportunities, I brought all of this stuff up. “Am I doing the right things in my life to be successful?” I asked him. “Should I be looking for more?”
I look at my friend, and he is nearing retirement age. In my eyes he is a down-to-earth successful guy who appears to have it all together. He would surely have the answers.
“Have you ever stopped to think about that life is not all about you?” he asked me. “None of this is about us. It is about serving others, being a good friend, living with integrity, and connecting your passions to a bigger cause. If you are living this way, God will take care of the rest.”
This has to be one of the hardest things in the world to embrace. While every media outlet is telling us that life is about self-gratification and success, there is also something very liberating about not living life to this standard. My perspective shifted the second he told me, “it’s not about me.” Why am I here at my job if it’s not about me? There are greater reasons behind it all. Who can I bless by being here? What skills can I learn that will help someone else down the road? How can I bring success to those around me?
It’s a fresh breath of air to be honest, and I know I need to work on it more and trust in a greater plan. I am not prideful enough to think I have it all together, but I do have to say that looking at things from the outside, I am an incredibly blessed individual. For the first time, I realized that this success has all come from a genuine passion for helping others. From my work to my hobbies, I want everyone around me to succeed. The second I turn inward and get selfish about it, my life gets stale. It is liberating to look out at the world and give it all up. It will always be a process for me…
2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.