“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Stay. Our life is often comprised of this pattern in many ways; we arouse our courage for but a moment before retreating back into our fortress of security, protection, and pride. It has been said that success, in addition to breeding pride and a false sense of accomplishment, is one of the largest reasons people develop fear. This fear is completely contrary to their ability to discipline themselves into a risk that was the cause of their success. If I were to make one million dollars, I pray my life is able to have enough boldness to continue laying everything on the line to develop further successes. Obviously, there is a method to doing this properly. But that is for another posting at another time.
What really grinds my gears is my own weakness in this area. I’d like to preface this by stating that this blog posting is not about my own criticism of others or my irritations at the failures/successes of those around me, but of my own internal weakness, instability, and failures, both past and present. This is about my struggle that goes on every second of every day inside of my head.
What are we called to do in this life? Who was it that dictated a mandatory 401(k) fund and cushy retirement package for our lives? Who was the author of “Work Hard For Others — And Live”? It’s in this moment that I think of the epic scene in Ben Hur, where the slave master states “Row well — and live.” We may not be tugging at boats, but the mentality is still very much similar to this attitude. I’ve begun to question everything that it is that I’m doing in life; the who, what, when, where, and why. Worse, I dislike everything that I set my hands to.
I’ve been bred to think of success is encapsulated in the ability to get the things we want. Rather, it is really about having the freedom to get the things we want. Rather, it is about being able to do whatever it is that you want, without any body telling you otherwise. Is this true? I don’t know. But, it seems to be a prominent theme in my life.
I’ve had a bit of a hard time accepting a lot of elements of my life. Rather than tanking G-d for the blessings He has provided me with, I question why they exist and if they are, in fact, a curse for me. Why did He give me the mind that I have? Sure, it has potential to do good things but it also moves at a million miles per hour and doesn’t allow me very much room to breathe. This can be frustrating when sleep is difficult to come by.
What I have recently begun to explore is the possibility that maybe I do have a bit of potential to do great things in this world. However, I’ve realized – and continue to realize – that my heart must be chasing after G-d with every waking step. If my life is not pursuing Him, then anything else I chase will be a fruitless effort. There may be great worldly success behind these ‘accomplishments’ but they will lack one important thing; a purpose and tribute to the One who made them possible.
There is a famous work of art titled “The Self-Made Man” and I laugh when I see it. For a long period in my life, I had hoped to someday proclaim that everything I had accomplished was ‘self-made’ in a similar manner. I then realized that I have not created a single thing. What changed my perception on this was my newly-developed perception of G-d’s hand on our lives.
And so, here I am today. It’s a beautiful day outside that the LORD has made and I am doing my best to be grateful for the opportunity He has given me to enjoy His gift of nature. He has been doing something very strong in my heart as of late. But I do not know what the final outcome will be.
Looking back on it, this blog accomplished absolutely nothing I had originally hoped to write. However, I think it was successful in writing exactly what I needed to.