Sometimes I struggle with wanting to succeed. For some reason my Christian experience has programmed me to think that wanting to succeed in one area or another is a form of pride. A friend of mine recently challenged me on this by saying, “Okay, so God wants you to hope everything you do sucks?”
Over the years I have received all sorts of differing counsel on this. My faith-camp friends have told me to just let God do everything. If God is on it, nothing can stop it from happening.
Usually a few days after I have followed the faith-camps advice and released all of my desire to see the things I create find success or an audience, I run into someone from camp-free-will. These are your friends whose advice is to dedicate it all to God and then work as hard as you can to get your stuff or message out there.
Recently, a very successful recording artist friend said this on the subject, “God didn’t give it to you so no one would ever hear or see it. You need to market your brand.”
And that’s one of the problems right there. My friend is a legitimate rock star. He is supposed to get $600 haircuts, have a promotional team and care about chart success. Me on the other hand, I’m a pastor. We are called to enjoy dry toast and modest cars. Success and achievement need be shunned and avoided like the plague.
The more I have thought about it, the more I realize that I will never find the balance. My forty-two years have shown me that my life is a pendulum that only finds balance in the brief moments I am swinging from one extreme to the other. One minute I am giving it all to God, the next I am grasping my desires like Gollum with a slippery fish.
For me, the answer has come in being willing to walk. Here’s what I mean. Back in the 90’s there was a movie called Heat. It was a story about thieves. The tension of the movie was in the fact that everyone in the crew needed to be willing drop everything and walk if the heat was on. Nothing was as important as freedom.
The same is true for our dreams and pursuits in this life.
Whether you use a faith or faith and friction model to pursue your dreams and desires is not as important as your willingness to drop them and walk at any moment. If God says its done, its done and you walk.
Here’s the point. There is no pride in wanting your stuff to happen. There is no sin in co-laboring with God to put your dreams into motion. Instead, pride is saying no when God says let it go. So can you drop it and walk?