Monday, December 27, 2010
I’ve learned to be more careful over the years about making pronouncements about myself or my plans or what I think God is going to do. I’ve become wary of making declarations of intent, as if I need to tell people what I’m going to do or what God is going to do. My soul just cries out at me to shut up about it. Too much talk just complicates everything and brings out my foolishness. We think we have to proclaim our intent in order to accomplish it, but I’m not so sure about that.
Which goes against the grain in a world where we’re supposed to catch a “vision” and cast a “vision” and call people to do “great things.” We’re supposed to do this personally, and we’re supposed to do this as leaders if we’re in leadership positions.
Here’s a problem with all of that.
How do we define “success” or “great things” these days? That’s easy, right? Success = more. That’s really what it seems to come down to most, if not all, of the time.
People give lip service to other things but, let me tell you from experience, “more” is everything in this world. If you have more, then you are “successful” and admired. More money. More influence. More people showing up. More power. Whatever you have, what you need is more, more, more. If you get more or make more or do more, people will affirm that. They will be impressed. They will take it as evidence that you’re doing things right, and you will too, most likely.
Maybe you are. But maybe you aren’t.
It makes me wonder how many people are stuck in the middle of some grand vision, some quest for more, trapped like rats, knowing they are not ever going to be satisfied. Not really. So many people seem to have everything, but inside they are empty, starving for approval and affirmation. It’s like Kurt Cobain wrote in his suicide letter about his fame and success in Nirvana. He wrote, “I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God, believe me I do, but it's not enough).”
Do I really just want to lead people to more? Do I want my own life to be about this constant reaching and grasping?
I have been personally victimized by this idealization of “more.” Not that “more” has anything intrinsically wrong with it. More of the right things could be good, I suppose. "More" is not an evil concept in and of itself. It’s just what we do with it. It’s how we turn it into a little god to bow down to that I find disturbing.
This passage from the Bible has me thinking about these things: Ecclesiastes 5: 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
And this one. Jesus said this: Matthew 5:37 Simply let your `Yes' be `Yes,' and your`No,' `No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Peace to you.
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