My life is a spinning compass. Out of control, seeking direction and looking for a place to land. I feel lost here, in this moment. Spiraling. looking for meaning, purpose and the voice of God somewhere. Anywhere. There a thousand pieces, images that flash in my mind, like still frames in a movie montage. And I can’t seem to put them together. They just whiz by, and I am left confused. Directionless. Spinning compass stop for just a moment, and show the way. Because I don’t know where to go from here. Because I feel so close to something real. Something beautiful. But I can’t seem to find the sure steps along the way.
When I was young, I dreamed of success as a writer. I envisioned my life as a millionaire author by the time I was 25. And, in my college mind, my thirties would be spent running a media company, based around the many screenplay adaptations of my successful novels.
Oh, and somewhere in there, I had time to marry a rock star (that passionately loved Jesus), and raise two highly artistic children that had traveled the world with us based on my husband’s tour schedule. We had houses in Europe, and would bounce back and forth between countries as our demanding schedules permitted.
But, the problem was, I couldn’t even get my college term papers done on time. It didn’t occur to me then, that the two were related. So, as my twenties passed by, through tedious work, blood, sweat and tears pouring into a stop and start writing/receptionist/retail career, I didn’t understand.
Why wasn’t God giving me all the things He had promised me? Obviously, I knew that some of my dreams were just playful fantasy. But, the gist of those dreams, were so powerful in my heart, that I knew it was part of God’s plan for me.
It all hit me today. Today, I applied for this writing job. It would be making a lot more money than I’ve ever made, and would be a lot of work, but nothing I haven’t done before. And, I realized, everything I had worked for, was coming together in some way. Now, this job is hardly “the dream.” It’s just one more train car on the track to success. But, as I thought about the work it would require, I realized, I could completely handle this job–now.
If I had been given the same opportunity a decade ago, or even a few years ago, I would have floundered. I would have not had the self-discipline, or the organization, or have some of the practical job skills that would have made the job work. I had the raw talent, that had been pruned by some formal training, but those were not enough to allow me to succeed at this job.
And suddenly, so many of the questions of my life began to make sense. There is wisdom in that phrase, “working up to it.” God doesn’t give us success until we are ready to handle it.
So, that’s my question to you–can you handle success? If you were given the keys to everything you wanted, could you handle it? Or would you flounder? I don’t know. It’s an interesting question. My own answer isn’t a resounding, “yes.” Success comes in levels. I could handle some levels of what I am after, but if I were to put myself at the pinnacle of my own definition of success, I would have to say “no.” And God, in his infinite mercy, knew it all along, and all of these years, has kept me from falling flat on my tail.
‘No Man is an Island’
by John Donne
No man is an island entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
This is a beautiful piece I have decided to share today. It’s part of my new resolution to memorize great poetry. I don’t believe Donne’s words here need expounding upon. They are very clear. Reflect. Enjoy.