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What am I doing? I asked myself as I slipped out the door for a much-needed run. Most days it seemed I was running from the moment I got up until the moment I went to bed — dressing the the child, dressing myself, commuting to work,  teaching Sunday school, trying to exercise, keeping the house clean . . .

Do You Really Embrace The Spirit?

These days I feel like the world is speeding by me at the speed of light. One task is beginning to blend into another. Weekends end faster and faster.  You end your days with a litany of “what ifs” They sound like this: If only we could bring in that big client, I started reasoning as I walked. If only I could get a better routine in keeping the house clean . . . if only I could get the kids over the next hurdle in.. if only I could help my friend… if only I could plant my garden…if only I could clear the house . . . then I could relax and be content. But as my feet thudded down the pavement, I caught myself. Those thoughts were familiar — except that they used to be, If only I could start a family . . . if only I could have a  house in a good neighborhood . . . if only I could own my  own business. . .

Many times, we fixate on getting to the next level in our lives; we tell ourselves that when we get there, we will have accomplished something good. But we never arrive there because it is only a mirage. It is so easy to be lured into chasing success. I never thought of myself as a person who was preoccupied with being successful. I didn’t need to be rich or powerful. I didn’t need to have the most glamorous home, career or family. But the pursuit of success can be much less obvious than that.

10 Steps To Build Your Dreams

Many times, we fixate on getting to the next level in our lives; we tell ourselves that when we get there, we will have accomplished something good. But we never arrive there because it is only a mirage. When we attain what we thought was that next step to success, our attention is immediately drawn to a new glimmer in the distance.

The irony is that Christians can become entrapped in the deception of success in a sincere effort to accomplish good things for God. Doesn’t God want us to be great parents; involved, hospitable neighbors; examples of excellence and integrity at work; financial providers who take care of our families and give to others; and effective ministers of the Gospel? Doesn’t the Bible encourage diligence and hard work? We must give up our ambitions and allow Christ to dictate our goals.

Numerous verses in the New Testament tell us to put aside selfish ambition (Luke 9:23; Philippians 2:3; James 3:13-16). Sometimes we believe that because we have changed our ambitions to be focused on “good” things, we have fulfilled this command. But the heart of this command is in relinquishment. We must give up our ambitions and allow Christ to dictate our goals.

You Have Great Potential, So Step Up

It is good to want to support my family; it is good to want children to do well in school; it is good to have a hospitable home and be effective in serving others. But I can’t chase after these things in an attempt to build a lifestyle, reputation or significance for myself. I have to hold all these goals with an open hand toward God, saying, “Your will, not mine.”

Each day I must practice this mantra. I hope one day I can succeed at. There is a great quote that I have heard over and over for years. “If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him.”

How does your cup taste?