Why I Look The Way I Do
Ever wonder why people work so hard? It doesn't matter what it is. It could be work or family, or recreation. Shoot, it could even be working hard at nothing. There is something the causes the heart to race, to strive after, to reach for. We are all seeking to find significance.
Significance is hard to pin down. It's tied up in so many things. We feel it when we have accomplished something, and we feel proud of our handiwork. It's in the touch of someone we love, the smile that says you are accepted no matter what. Significance is felt when we see our children take those first steps into adulthood and succeed in life.
Then, of course, it can be bruised and crushed. The struggle for significance is when the world tells us a different story than our heart wants to hear. We are not successful. We are not attractive. We are not a good parent, employee, or artisan. Everything we touch tarnishes as the shiny person we were created to be turns a sickly color and is covered with emotional decay.
Some people rise above adversity and dare significance to fall through their grasps. Others never struggle because everything seems to fall into place. People like me struggle with it every day. It doesn't take much to steal away my since of significance. It could be an unkind word, or a silent pass. It could be the feeling of being outside the inner circle of friends. I try not to look at my book sales because each day is a disappointment. Did I accomplish my tasks at work, did I fall short of my wife's expectations, did the dog look at me with those sad eyes because I didn't take him for his expected walk. All those things yell at me, "Failure!"
The problem is that no matter how much the opposite happens In a given day, the next morning brings the same conditions and I worry that I won't measure up. some say, "Failure's not an option." I hear, "failure is the only option." It gets me down, causes the blues, and it borders on depression. My wife is my barometer. She sees when life bruises me the most. The problem is that her caring questions only reinforces how I feel. I don't feel significant. ***Sigh***
Fortunatly I have a Rock, an Anchor, a Foundation that doesn't allow me to slip into despair. Psalm 42:5 says "
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God."
I don't learn quickly. It is the constant reminder that my hope and significance is not found in people, position, or productivity. It is what God thinks of me in Christ. I struggle for significance because I listen to the world and its expectations and embrace them as my own. I lose sight of God's mercy and blessings, and allow my feelings to overwhelm me with a warped sense of who I am.
Today my book sales are down, I still don't have sales appointments I want, I don't feel my Sunday School class went very well the last couple of weeks, I feel like the outsider, and I can't lose weight. But the sun is shining, my squirrel friends are back, my wife smiles at me, my grandchildren are coming, and most of all I am a child of the living God! It's a good day, I'm just saying.