“For our light and momentary struggles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
We live in a society that mucks around in the very element that wreaks havoc on a sense of life satisfaction. “I can’t get no satisfaction” occurs within the person who plays the New Age game of I, me, my/ bigger, better, more.
Attachment and unbridled ambition are the names of two reptile serpents that wreak havoc on our sense of security, value and purpose in life. These two reptiles slither into our interior castle, spewing out lies that fuel destructive feelings of lack & scarcity along with a sense of entitlement and victimization. Jealousy and envy slither in right behind unbridled ambition and attachment.
An attachment is an emotional state of clinging due to the belief that without some thing, person, status or outcome, I can’t be happy. Can you imagine how much headspace would be cleared up if we simply abandon the vigil we keep around our attachments? “Will I get what I want? Deserve? Have been toiling for? Am I enough? Appreciated? Acknowledged? I need more stuff to know I have made it, I matter. All too often we seek the living among the dead.
A worthy contemplation: “What was I put on this earth to give rather than what was I put on this earth to receive?” Funny thing is, can’t we all agree that our greatest moments of life satisfaction occur when we are giving of our time, talent and treasure to make a positive impact in the life of another person?
When we feed the serpents of unbridled ambition and attachment they become more venomous and self seeking, like a spoiled child the more you feed them, the more they want of your time, talent and treasure often at the expense of what you value most in this life: “If I work longer hours, get more education, accomplish and achieve higher status then I will be enough.
I, me, my has replaced over time our single source for authentic life satisfaction, our relationship with God, and the extent through which we serve others which flows from the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” True satisfaction comes when, as Jesus said, we die to self (I, me, my). It is in this moment of death to self: what I want; need; desire; crave; expect, that authentic life satisfaction and purpose, joy and inner peace emerge to the front lines of how we show up in life.
How much of our heart, mind, soul and strength is occupied by the pursuit of those things which can never fully satisfy? The fleeting joy that occurs when we obtain something we have been pursuing is quickly replaced by the fear of losing it or a need for bigger, better, more. This is a vicious cycle that has been advertised and promoted within our society, particularly over the past decade and has put into the heart of mankind a fear of failure, envy, lack & scarcity thinking which contradicts the message of Jesus: All things are possible for those who believe.
The confusion occurs when we misinterpret Jesus reference to “all things.” Rather than cars; houses; relationships; status; fame; popularity, Jesus is speaking about something that exists far and beyond what eye has seen, ear has heard or mind can conceive.
Jesus is referring to something that occurs within the soul that exists outside of the need to analyze, interpret or conclude fueled by the spirit rather than the flesh. Similar to when a baby smiles at you; you experience the warmth of a summer sunset; you witness the freeing experience of forgiveness and grace (undeserved divine assistance or favor). The depth of joy, satisfaction in the moment and partaking in something bigger than you is the life that Jesus was inviting us into when he said, “All things are possible for those who believe.”
Can you imagine taking the momentary experience of when a baby looks into your eyes and smiles at you with you into all of life? Or that unexplainable feeling of awe and wonder that washes over you when you witness first hand the power of nature in a sunrise or thunder storm? Or how about the prodigal son experience? Forgiving or being the recipient of forgiveness? Serving or being served in the midst of weakness?
These are the moments that fuel authentic life satisfaction, which are all too often overlooked because we are distracted from what really matters, those things we will want more of at the sunset of this life.
What is the cost of giving free rent in our head to unbridled ambition and attachments? What if we were to replace that mind space with the practice of surrender, gratitude and service? What if we were to release our grip on our need for certain outcomes, positions, accomplishments a little more today than yesterday to know that we matter and are a part of something bigger than ourselves, that God is with us, adores us, has redeemed us and saved us for a purpose that far outweighs our momentary trials and hardships? What if we replaced I, me, my pursuits with love, gratitude and service? The kind of service that gives without the need to be seen, acknowledged and recognized.
The Holy Spirit has so much self regard that it chooses to travel invisibly through our lives…hmmm now that’s something worth our contemplation in our pursuit for life satisfaction.
Because of His Love,