At a Christian high school graduation ceremony last week in Louisiana, The valedictorian (a gifted young man headed to an Ivy League college) spoke eloquently for about ten minutes on the subject of a life call and the need for personal discipline and passion.
His definition of success?
“Success isn’t having a second summer home or a third car in the garage; success is having some extra spending money at the end of the week, so you and your family can enjoy the really important things in life.”
My friend and his wife who were there reported, “We hoped for another face in the crowd that registered the kind of surprise we felt. Nope. Nodding heads, smiles, lots of assent. Very sad.”
Christian Smith wrote about this phenomenon in Soul Searching. He labels the belief system of so many of today’s youth “a moral, therapeutic Deism.” His research indicates, without surprise, that they’re actually getting it from adults. Rules, good feelings, and a sense that God rewards us with happiness, pleasures, and toys. Tell that to Samuel Thomas and his orphans in India.
this terryfies me…
I still fight that within myself – this incessant need to ‘arrive’. To find time at the end of the week to FINALLY sit down and take a break. Why should I receive that reward? Why do I feel like I deserve that reward?? I hate that part of myself. The fight continues on as the part of me that loves to keep going, to keep working wins out by a small margin daily.
I’m all for slowing down and spending some time rejuvinating, spending time with the Lord, relaxing with the family. But to see that as success, or a reward which I deserve…absolutely not.
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I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.