Success is a dance. The world revolves and the dance begins, the tension between the kindling doors being sparked along the way and the blazing of your own trail—to your advantage or your own detriment. You learn from failure, are humbled to come to grips with how little control you have over this ever-elusive success... and this all while at times you feel the powerful ambition of treading onward, making connections and sharpening your skills. The moving and shaking, the thought that your future lies in your hands is true... until you're met with a boulder you can't move or you look back to see that your busyness hadn't gotten you as far as it had felt.
Scrolling through Instagram will make you see a lot of inspirational “go get 'em” attitudes. You see people who are “making it” and think, “I can do that!” Quotes about hustlin' and “making it happen” are the heartbeat of this generation. Does anyone feel like it's the 80s all over again? The world wide web's vast open doors (and windows that allow us to peek in) has surged in us a desire to conqure the world—whatever that means to you. You can book your travel, start your blog, open an online shop, and create a following literally overnight. At least those are most of the stories we hear about.
But something is missing.
We've lost a humble perspective that our lives are quite wonderful, thankyouverymuch. And that we are human beings—not human doings. But there's a voice saying that, too. Funny how that voice that urges us to enjoy life... as it gets mixed in with another list of to-do's, following a splendidly simple and enticing photo of a healthy meal, a contented family or some other such nonsense that's pin-worthy. (We'd better save that awesome tip for later when our kids aren't screaming for our attention!)
I'm not knocking the lifestyle bloggers or the creatives (like me) that display beautiful snapshots of a life we enjoy a look into. Each angle has its place. I'm just saying that our hyper awareness of what everyone else is doing (cooking/traveling to/creating/parenting/experiencing/reading) has given us a burdening toolbox to attain whatever idol grips our hearts. Just go to Pinterest and search for how to have the children of your dreams, scour Martha Stewart Living for the holiday's cute craft, check out a DIYable garden in Better Homes to get the envy of your neighbors or go to LinkedIn to figure out how to connect to that income you've been after. When you're done, make sure to post your progress on Facebook because it doesn't count as a successful step forward unless it's heavily liked (and hopefully shared).
We intake so much advertising that we are each our own PR reps and we'd do well to scratch a few backs along the way to further spread our press releases.
We'd do well to be more aware of how God is moving in our ordinary moment than to escape it by rushing to look at someone else's. (And quietly plan how we can get to their reality.)
There is a real fight for your attention. A little bait of eye candy, an easy hook of making it feel attainable, a lot of thoughts planning, and your heart is tugged and burdened, hoping and yearning for the next big thing. And if you hold the necessary tools, why need God? Idol created, idol solidly placed, God forgotten. Beware, believer. Belief is only as true and real as the closeness you hold to the voice you believe.
Read, share, do. But let's do this week right. Let's put our God at the forefront.