Monday, July 8, 2013

Getting out of the bubble . . .

I grew up in a bubble where I assumed my parents' success in learning and life meant that I would enjoy the same success and its "perks". I was wrong.

At 74 I have lived long enough now to understand that it's not what you come into life with but what you do with it that determines success. I hope I have the privilege of doing something useful with what remains.

The great secret of success is learning to look at life through the eyes of someone who knows the truth about what is going on and what is worth achieving. There is one person who fits that description - Jesus Christ. All others fall short. Jesus is unique in that he always is willing to share his wisdom. I find many other people want to keep the secrets of their success to themselves. The reverse is true of Jesus.

As I see it, Jesus succeeded on earth because he was ready to accept his Father's will at every turn. Perhaps "eager" is a better word than "ready". Also when Jesus put his Father's will into practice, he did so humbly in a way that was likely to get the result his Father wanted.

If I had started my life with the same attitude as Jesus it would have taken a far different course. I would have spent many more years trying to create and not only consume good things. Also, I would have made better judgments about which things are good and which are not.

Every good thing comes down from the Father says James the brother of Jesus, and he is right. I have been privileged to do (what I consider) a few good things since I started to follow Jesus and they are good because they are connected to treating the interests of other people as equal or superior to my own. I have benefitted greatly from this approach when I have chosen to follow it and trusted God for whatever benefit he might have in mind for me. Of course I don't always behave this way but I wish I did.

If you believe in the God who created all things, then it just makes sense to trust him more than yourself for good outcomes. I believe in that God and have not been disappointed.

One great thing about following Jesus is he gives me a sense of purpose that makes me more alert to opportunities to do something useful, and a willingness to undertake things that seem beyond my capability. I remember things in my career that I would never have tried on my own.

In short, I recommend to you the study of Jesus. He can give you a clear view of why you are alive, and what to do with your life, and what to expect in the next.