I wander, aimlessly, in no given direction. There is no light to guide my way. Am I moving forward or am I going back? A cold chill rushes over me every few moments and my body aches. I rub my hands over my arms to bring them warmth, but there is no warmth coming from within. Flashes of light burst to my sides as if they were lightbulbs exploding. Hope overcomes me with each spark of light, but the hope quickly turns to fear as I descend back into pitch black nothingness…
I scream out in the darkness asking for help. Asking for someone to guide my way. There is no answer. There is never an answer. I drop to my knees and cry as I realize I am so alone in this world. I am so alone…
If someone were to ask me how I would describe the beginning of last year, those words above, my words, would be it.
For the majority of my life I believed I was wandering aimlessly through this crazy thing called life. No real direction. No real objective. No real purpose. I believed that I was in control of my life and that I was just going to keep doing more. To get more. To have… more.
More of what I thought I wanted in my life.
I eventually ended up in a place that many would call “success”. What did this success look like? I ended up in a dream job at 31 years old. In a position that many work an incredibly long time to get to. I had life figured out, and I was on a path to have more.
You want to know what came from my success? Sadness. A near end to my marriage. A loss of my identity.
But I am here to tell you that I am not successful. In fact, I would be as bold as to say that I have been a failure.
I thought success meant having more money, having more things, being enviable to others. You know what doesn’t truly matter in life? Money. It is such an evil thing and corrupts the mind of so many.
My world was chaos. I was so blinded in life that I missed so many good things around me.
Let me get back to my story…
I feel a gentle touch on my shoulder and am pulled off my knees. I turn in circles, swinging my arms to see who is by my side. There is no one, but the gentle pressure on my shoulder never lifts. Tears begin pouring down my face and I whisper in the darkness. Please. Please…
A dim light sparks far in the distance. I feel a touch on my other shoulder and one more on my back, gently pushing me forward. My body struggles to move, almost to the point of giving up. I stumble forward and nearly fall but something catches me before I hit the ground and lifts me back up. Another step forward, this one stronger than the last, but still feeling the pain. Another step.
I cry out in agony as my body aches. Another touch, this time on my heart. For the first time I can feel myself enveloped in warmth, enough to give me the strength to begin running towards the light.
I do not know how long it will take me to reach the light, but I do know that I am headed in the right direction.
And I do know that I never have to walk alone again…
Chaos – complete disorder and confusion. My life was the definition of chaos.
But out of chaos comes peace. It does not happen on its own, it happens with intentionality. It happens with purpose. It happens with priority.
It happens with love.
Not only love for God. Not only love for others, but love for yourself.
I have found peace in a world full of chaos, for I have decided to turn away from chaos and RUN the other direction. It is a distraction from what matters most in life.
And I have found peace in giving my life to Jesus, no longer living under the illusion that I am in control. I don’t want control. Look at the bad things that happened when I tried to do things on my own. And look at the amazing things that happened when I let go…
I have found that settling and being content are NOT bad things in life! They are blessings that allow you the flexibility to prioritize. I no longer want the next best thing. I’m not trying to maximize my career. I’m not concerned about how much money I have in my account.
I want a life filled with love. And I want to return that love tenfold. I want nothing from those around me, but I want to give to them everything I have, and everything I am.
I have found peace in my life because I have found purpose, something I have never had before.
My purpose is to give my life to Jesus, to love so much that I better the lives of those I come across, to raise my children to follow in His steps, to spread the love of God and to be an example to others that forgiveness is there when we are ready to ask for it.
I will be a husband who supports his wife, a father who is a role model for his children, a friend that becomes family. I will open my life to others and will open my door to my neighbors.
Peace and purpose are such a strange thing to me, but they feel so comforting.
Lord, I want to thank you for loving not only me, but loving those around me. For showing us what true love is and how to live a righteous life.
I ask that you forgive me for my failures as a husband, as a father, as a son, as a brother and as a friend.
I ask that you provide for others as you have provided for me.
I thank you for the blessing that today was. Although we struggle with navigating this new balance in life, priorities are shifting to allow the most important things to take the most time.
I ask for more time to give to my loved ones.
Please guide my wife as she works through all the changes in her life, and please give me the strength to serve her better.
Please look after my friends who are working through loss and look after those who are dealing with sickness.
Lord, I feel your blessings and recognize your love.