Joseph Brazil | @blackdog575
Quick, name the president of the United States sixty years ago. Now think back and recall which college basketball team won last year’s NCAA tournament. Unless you were that president or a member of that team who won it all, chances are you had some trouble remembering their name.
(For the record: President Eisenhower and Duke University)
Their legacies were, at the time, well distinguished and carried some importance among their respective professions. But now they’re largely footnotes in history, replaced by more current presidents and the anticipation for who will win this year’s tournament.
(My pick is Virginia.)
Think for a moment what you consider your greatest achievement. What made you decide on this? Clearly, it must mean something special. Perhaps it took years of work or it might have cost you a hefty sum. Yet whatever we perceive as our lasting accomplishment in life, it counts for nothing in the end.
The Bible records the wisdom of King Solomon, who most would say led a prosperous life. In Ecclesiastes 1:13-14, he describes what his success actually meant:
“I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
These are heavy truths that sound as if there’s no point in trying our best each day. Though the tone of this passage is dim, there lives underneath it a great positive to be found. Reorganizing our priorities and recognizing the futility of pursuing gold stars will only create room in our lives for our relationship with the Lord.
1 Peter 2:9 says we as believers are a chosen generation, the Lord’s special people whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Our duty, then, is to aspire toward heavenly accomplishments. As a result, our time and work on Earth will not only be more meaningful, but will also be a pleasure and honor to Christ.
Conquering mountains and slaying dragons only leaves us slightly ahead of where we began. And then it’s on to the next. Today, let’s take time to examine our lives and see where we’re missing the mark. Let’s convert our desires for worldly success into something a bit more lasting.
Joseph Brazil is a teacher from eastern New Mexico. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, watching sports, and studying blues guitar. He is a student of history, and likes sharing with his wife in a good period-piece flick. You can find him on Twitter at @blackdog575.
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