(This post was really hard to write for some reason.)
Dream big. I have learned from a young age to reach for the stars and that hard work and determination are the keys to my dreams. Happiness is found the the attainment of ambitions. If I am esteemed above my peers and exalted for my success, I will finally be content with my life. I should strive to be the best at what I do.
But everything that I have experienced tells me the opposite. It is true that studying hard has landed me a well-paying job, that practicing guitar has made me a decent musician, even that studying the Bible has given me a bit of wisdom. But raging ambition can turn a person into a shell of what they were meant to be. "If only I had this, I would be content."
Lasting happiness is not found by looking for it or by striving for it. The future does not hold the key to contentment. The present does. Living for the next promotion, the perfect relationship, a big break or the ultimate vacation robs us of the joy of living. We need to be still and enjoy each moment for what it is: A divinely unique gift that needs to be treasured and enjoyed.
I know this, but still find myself with many selfish ambitions. It is so easy for ideas to get lost on the journey from our hearts to our hands. When situations are difficult or confusing, it is sometimes beneficial to hope in the future to endure the present, but in doing so we can miss the song that all of Creation is singing at this very second. I want to hear that song and rejoice in it.
Security. Popularity. Beauty. Success. Comfort. Success.
Joy. Peace. Purpose. Contentment. True love. Eternal life.
Why are you striving these days?