5/22/08

The Journeys of Life

It's an amazing foggy morning here in Brundidge. The fog is so thick it's difficult to see much further than the front of the car. The spider webs in the fields and ditches are glistening with droplets of dew that make them look like lacy canvas fringing the weeds. The fog always presents the world in a different and mysterious manner. It shows me that the world is not the same. Everyday is new, every little aspect of my world is a mystery to explore further.

As I was driving the five mile drive to work today, the fog left me reflective. Ten years ago, I would have been more than likely heading to an airport on a foggy morning to audit some company hither yon. I spent a lot of time seeing the country from the air. I passed over some of the most awesome scenery, leaving it behind to explore another day. My guess is there are those passing over me today, looking down and wondering what we are doing in our boring one horse town. The fast pace of the corporate life doesn't give much time to stop and enjoy a foggy day. But, when one is living that life, they are convinced it's the only way to live.

I have been on planes that have flown through such fierce thunderstorms that the overhead compartments were knocked open. I have seen stewardesses skillfully hold a drink in a glass against the ceiling as the plane dipped to prevent it from spilling over. I have seen snow in the air and landed to see that it has turned to rain. I have sat on runways as machines and people spray de-icer on the plane. I have prayed as a pilot announced that "we've got a bit of trouble, this landing is going to be a little rough." All of these adventures were in the quest of career goals and a secure life yet each one of them reminded me that country living, the life I had left behind, was much more important. As time advanced, my goals changed and serenity and peace became my new ambition.

We sacrifice in the name of "future security". We sacrifice our children's time, our own time, relationships, even worship. We justify it by telling ourselves that when we "get there" it will all have been worth it. I am reminded of a story in the Bible. A gentleman "got there" and had all his material world stored up for his future. God explained to him that it was unfortunate he had worked so hard to secure his future because his future was now and he was going to call him home.

We have to sacrifice at times. We have to work ever diligently to keep our lives from drifting into complete failure. But - is the sacrifice spiritual growth or material gain? It took me my entire 45 years to understand my answer to that question. I need a roof over my head, food on the table, clothes. I don't need the best of the best and I find that God always makes sure I am fed, clothed and sheltered. I work towards providing for myself and my family but these days, I work harder at providing spiritual nourishment. I have a daughter who needs to understand that depending on God and working through His spirit is much more powerful than depending on self and working through the spirit of this world.

I never did get rich from serving corporate America. I won't get rich from serving God! Rich isn't my goal anymore - peace and serenity is. Rich from serving corporate America could leave me like that man in the Bible - with a warehouse full of stuff and no time to use it. Rich from serving God will leave me an eternity in my father's house. So, I AM getting richer by the day. It's just not the stuff anyone would see me wearing, driving or carrying out my front door. If I get it right though, they will see it - in my smile, in my peace, in my contentment for what I already have. I don't begrudge those with material possessions. Some of them are the greatest servants God could ever ask for and they are wonderful stewards of His money. But, I appreciate that God reminds me daily what is important in my life. I am even more appreciative that eternity is mine - an eternity where we will all appreciate one another and our Lord and Savior.

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