By the time I left for college, my family had moved nine times. I used to have a recurring nightmare of running down a street holding a cardboard box that was falling apart with each stride.
Between college and the couch I’m currently sitting on, I’ve moved thirteen times, been briefly homeless and survived an apartment fire. A battle of losses, gains and oppressive forces beyond my control; all in the merciless pursuit of stability. I was determined to outrun chaos and ensure it couldn’t find me.
Success doesn’t bump into you like some accidental stranger in the park. You have to mindfully define and intentionally pursue it. Success for me meant earning an income absent of self-abuse or extortion, having a reliable car, healthcare, a couch, bed, clothes and being able to go food shopping without a calculator. Hallelujah. At 43, I have arrived.
In all sincerity, people ask me lately how are you, really? Really good. All things considered, I have no right to be this safe, sane and gratefully content, but…I AM.
I was out on a walk along the river trail last weekend and this image stopped me in my tracks; limb, nest, silhouette of my state tree and a promise, signified by a rare solar flare. As if God were both reminding and celebrating with me, that I’d crossed the invisible threshold between the Ordeal back to an Ordinary World I’d never really known.
Gotta say, I really like it. The predictability, stability, silence; apart from some YouTube jazz and the occasional squirrel running across the roof. There are no longer monumental tasks on my to-do list, just the normal, mundane stuff like going to work, emptying the dishwasher and making the bed.
Is there a fine line between survival and success? Or, is it more like a tightrope whose risk and reward are determined by our definition of achievement? What’s your end goal? Why?
This morning’s devotion is a reminder that within a good life, there’s no beginning or end.
“The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.” -Lao Tzu
I flow with the nourishing life of God.
Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.—John 7:38
If that’s true, it was all God, all good, all along.