Leaving an Imprint: Reflections On Death, Companionship, and Success.

Life has a way of constantly reminding you that you have absolutely no idea what’s going on. I feel like this is true in every situation. We have this struggle within ourselves to have control of our circumstances, overcome any obstacle, and conquer our demons. Yet, we fail most of the time, and very few people actually conquer anything, and we make movies about those few. We love a good story. Life is much harsher than that. Life gets us down, beats us to the core, and forces us to relinquish any sense of self worth, control, and confidence that we have the ability to get the job done.

I’ve recently started a new endeavor in my life, one that could have huge implications for not just myself, but everyone around me as well. Its only the beginning stages and I already have a lot invested emotionally. My mom says she’s worried about me getting let down again. She’s afraid I won’t be able to handle another disappointment in my life. She had to watch me go through the last few years, and the last year in particular, with disappointment after disappointment. I understand where she’s coming from. I guess I just keep thinking there has to be more to life than what I’ve experienced so far. There’s got to be more than constantly starting over from scratch. I pray for progress. I pray for a sense of belonging. I pray there’s someone out there who might be able to love me.

Building something from nothing is the ideal within the American Dream that we so often hear about in this country. Success is measured, in many ways, by this fact alone. What did you make of yourself? We treat this question as though God Himself is going to ask us this question when we die. I don’t believe God cares very much about what we made of ourselves. I think He cares way more about how much we made of Him in our lives. Death is constantly looming over our shoulder, waiting for his permission to pounce on our lives. We must not forget our mortality, and our dependence on our God. Success is inaccurately measured in our lives. I feel like success should be measured by the relationships we invest in, the lives we change, and the hearts we win. I want, more than anything, to be a good husband and father one day. I can’t wait for the opportunity to have a good, healthy, strong and grounded relationship with someone. A relationship built on the right things. I pray I have a career doing what I’m passionate about, and what I feel called into. This latest endeavor is my attempt to make that happen.

As for the woman situation, well, I can’t figure that one out. I’ve decided I’m pretty much over the “game” of the dating world. You have to act a certain way, or not act a certain way. You have to pretend you don’t care, but still let her know you’re interested. You have to watch how much you’re communicating. Its all bogus. If I have to jump through that many ridiculously pointless hoops to get a girl then she’s not worth it, in my opinion. Whatever happened to a girl appreciating a guy being upfront and honest about how he feels? Where did all the nice, honest women go? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to have a pity party here. I actually feel like this is a legitimate question these days. Anyway, I’ve decided to stop caring. In some ways, my mom is right. I can’t be let down anymore. I don’t want to deal with the pain of feeling like I’m not good enough. I don’t want to feel like I’m not good enough to have a good job, to have the opportunity to do what I love, or to have an actual good woman who actually wants to love me back. So many times my love has been in vain, but no more.

I see a much more important way to spend my time these days, particularly the “new endeavor.” All of this has me thinking about what it means to leave your mark on the world. We work so hard to make much of ourselves in this life, when it is obviously about making much of God. So how do we measure success through the lens of eternity? I think if what we strive for has a desire to make much of Christ at the core, it will be successful. Success is less about how much money something makes, or how much people like it, and a lot more about how it changes people. I think this is true in any market. I think the truly successful people are measuring their brand or product’s success by how it impacts people’s lives. Sometimes, they are measuring it by how it impacts people’s lives in a negative way, but impacting none the less. Leaving our imprint on the world is much easier when we are leaving our imprint on people’s hearts. That may sound a little cheesy, but I actually mean that in a very practical way. We are measured (my man) by the way we are remembered. We won’t be remembered for very long if we create a business, or travel the world, or fall in love. No, we will be remembered by the hearts we change.

This small truth has huge implications. This is why I’ve decided to completely change the way I view success in my own life, and go in a completely different direction. I want to affect people’s lives for the better, I want to make difference in my community. I know I make mistakes. Most days I don’t even feel worthy of anyone’s love, but I shouldn’t let that feeling cripple me from loving others, and I want to do that in every area of my life, including my career. Death may come swiftly to me one day, and when it does, I want to be able to say I made much of Christ in my life, and I impacted the people around me with the love of Christ. If I can say that at the end, then what else is there really? Of course I want a family one day, I want to play music, I want to travel the world, start a successful business, all that jazz. But if I’m not doing it all in light of what Christ has done for me, in an attempt to break through into other people’s lives with the same powerful love Christ once devastated my heart with, and continues to to lavish on me each day, then all my efforts will be in vain.

I pray that we don’t lose focus of the importance of Christ in all things. I pray that I don’t lose sight of the goal of Christ in all my efforts. I want to love the least, and make much of Christ in them. I pray that God may accomplish that in me.

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