I’m sitting on the 19th floor of the Westin at a rooftop bar overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota, FL. I appreciate the view to say the least. I’m partially just happy to be in a more peaceful environment after spending the last three nights at a Miami Beach hotel. It’s like I transported to a completely different part of the country in that short drive across the state and up the Gulf Coast. Murphy is hanging in pretty well, given his fifteen years of appreciating routine and stability. We’ve been on the road together for over five weeks. I’m so grateful God blessed me with this dog, who is still healthy enough to be my little road-warrior on our journey!
I heard a sermon recently that got me thinking at a deeper level about a topic I’ve written about a lot already. I’m going to revisit because as with all things, our perspectives continue to evolve over time. I’d say my conviction is stronger in this area more than ever, so I feel compelled to dive a bit deeper.
First, I don’t write this to minimize the importance of having goals and reaching them. I don’t want to minimize the impact of progress, accomplishments or making positive strides in life. I do have such a different perspective on the major gap between accomplishments and the ultimate accomplishment, the one that matters most. The gap I’m learning is vast beyond comprehension, which I believe has been shown to me through my evolving connection with God.
I believe accomplishments have less to do with what you’ve done, and more to do with the spiritual space the accomplishments were performed from. Human beings can accomplish so much from a place of ego and worldly desires. We can accomplish with an “I’ll show you” mentality. We can operate with a chip on our shoulder from a place of past wounds, or from fears that we don’t add up to some false perception of who we “should be.” We can straight up get things DONE! We are powerful in our own right. We are accomplished and driven. We are strong and courageous and never willing to back down. We flex our muscles- physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are competitive and motivated and will show our sibling, parents, co-workers, ex-relationships, our ex-employer and/or all of those people sitting on the edge of their seats via social media watching our every move. We will show the world how great we are! We will win! We will conquer! We will feel satisfied and completed by our performance in this life!
We can also accomplish to attain. Just think about the feeling of being on that stage. The wave under a spotlight to my piers with all eyes on me for finishing #1! Imagine how great that will feel. Imagine that nicer house that’s so fresh, designed via a builder catering to my personal wants, not the “used home” I’m currently in. Imagine that new car smell with all the upgrades, and how others will look at me with envy as I drive up in my pimped-out ride. I could run through the proverbial sales goals just thinking about these things. I can’t wait to reach my mountaintop of ownership, because I know once I get these things I’ll feel so much better. My life will be in such a better place overall. I’ll feel accomplished, satisfied and at peace. Talk about a fail proof plan to bring about the fulfillment I desire most!
Oh yeah, well I’ve got Jesus. I have the power of God Himself living inside of me. I have an evolving and deepening relationship with my maker!
The closer I get to God, the more aligned my spirit is. The more I feel the Holy Spirit living within me and the more peace and contentment I feel. I believe being present TODAY and doing my best TODAY will lead to a future of success. Success is different to everyone, and when being lead by The Spirit we’ll eventually reach success in the realm of fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. I believe one who leads from a servant’s heart (serving God first) will inevitably have God’s definition of success for their life come to fruition. Belief and faith are so huge here though. Also important- the need to strip oneself of the conditioning to care so much about what the world says or even what our ego-centered self screams along the way. Surrendering to Him is so contradictory to the conditioning of the world, because it’s relinquishing control and trusting Him to guide each step. I don’t mean trusting in a step here and there, I mean each step! I mean full faith, not just Sunday morning faith. I mean the most important thing you’ll do each day type of faith! I mean tuning in and surrendering regardless of what the world has thrown at you. We all has a past, get over it and live TODAY!
What’s crazy is how the tangible/worldly resume builders, ego boosters and image enhancers mentioned above matter less and less when you let God lead the way. I care less and less about these things and I used to CRAVE them. I mean CRAVE, like completely bought into the mindset that “if I can just ____, then I’ll feel _____.” Insert performing and obtaining verbs of your choice- we all have them.
I feel more accomplished and purpose-driven now that I’m surrendering EVERY DAY and trusting His plan to unfold in my life. There are no “you complete me(s)” of this world, that’s HIS JOB! God completes me and that’s the only position to operate from. I’m not saying you cannot have nice things, in fact I’d argue the more you surrender to God and trust His purpose the more successful one might even be monetarily. Why? Well God isn’t a lacking God, He’s abundant. I’m willing to bet if you align your life with His purpose and utilize His designed strengths within you, that you’ll have plenty of earthly blessings and experiences in life, yet you won’t crave and look for completeness in these things.
Jesus said in Matthew 19:21 (NIV) – “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Look, I have my interpretation of The Word, as do each of you. I kind of see this like Jesus saying, give up all that you think matters IN this world and TO this world. Be okay with having NOTHING besides Him. Yet God doesn’t forsake us when we submit to Him. God lifts us up and calls us to a life that is beyond comprehension to the spiritually-hardened, ego-centered and wounded world. Give up the importance of possessions, for they pale in comparison to the possession of a relationship that forms when you put Him above all else! I trust God’s plan, AMEN! I wish ya’ll could feel the power of my fingers in this moment, my spirit screaming from within! TRUST IN GOD’S PLAN! Don’t you see, life is BETTER THIS WAY.
The Word is Truth Everlasting, God Breathed. How can you possibly misinterpret this verse- Jeremiah 29 11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” (NIV)
I pray that everyone will tune-in and feel the presence of God more deeply. I pray everyone will go on a journey that shines brighter than any new home, or the feeling of momentary applause while standing on some idealistic stage. I pray that awareness of The Truth is shown to all!
Ya’ll can have your stage. Ya’ll can have your car. Ya’ll can have the worldly report card full of good grades handed out by other human beings. I’ve got Jesus! I’ve got THE PASSING GRADE already! I’ve got the brightest lighthouse ever created steering my ship! I crave Surrendering more! Everything else will be unveiled. It’s never too late to hit your knees every day and surrender to God, who’s with me? I think it’s safe to say that the way of the world doesn’t work. Let’s be children again, so we can absorb and be lead from an unconditioned place! Let’s be fired up for Jesus and The Good News He delivered showing us The Way to live via a relationship with God first in our lives!
Let’s surrender. Let’s try something different, we’ve already tried fitting in for wholeness! Let’s be the good kind of crazy! Let’s try God more, let God more, and live with God more! Hallelujah from Sarasota, FL!