For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? Matthew 16:25-26 (TPT)
Fame and Fortune – The Ordinary Series – Part 2
Is there anything more valuable than your soul?
We sell ourselves short all the time. And it might be a little different than what you think. I’m not talking about obvious sins, but more about pride. We seek significance in our achievements and abilities and judge others according to theirs. There’s nothing wrong with having grand plans, and high goals. It’s not a bad thing to want to succeed in your ‘career’ and be an expert in your field. We hope and pray that you do experience success in your endeavours.
But your significance and contribution to the world do not depend on your successes.
I started out with dreams of fame and fortune, of being the best of the best… I wanted to be known for my craft because that would mean that I was great at it, right? Over the years, while working hard on my dreams, and sometimes, working hard for someone else's dream, the gap between what I wanted to be and who I was, wasn’t getting any smaller. If somebody had told me at 18 that I would be right here, where I am now, at 34, I would have been disappointed.
I wanted to be extraordinary. And I wanted everyone to know it. I thought that having as many people as possible affirming my greatness would mean that I was, truly, great.
I don’t think I’m alone here. At some point in all our lives, I believe we cling to the things that we do and the successes that we have and we feed them to our hungry (sometimes starving) sense of value. We use them as a stake to mark out our worthiness.
What happens if we turn out to be ordinary? What happens if we don’t succeed like we thought we would? What happens if we fail? What happens if we seek significance and do not find it in the applauding crowds, awards, fame, and fortune? What if our names are never known, and our deeds are never written down, not deemed worthy enough to retell?
In his book, “The Immortal Diamond” Richard Rohr says, “Your soul is who you are in God and who God is in you. You can never really lose your soul; you can only fail to realize it, which is indeed the greatest of losses: to have it but not have it (Matthew 16:26).”
To have value and significance and yet still search for it in success and fame and fortune and thrills and achievements is a costly, paradoxical endeavour.
When you discover that in your normal life, in your ordinary heart, while you do everyday things, wonder and beauty live and thrive; a freedom washes over you. Being the best of the best, or being known and talked about, or having wealth beyond measure are not the places where you find your soul. But you run the risk of losing it if you seek these things to gain a greater sense of self.
Your significance dwells not in your success or achievements, but in your normal, ordinary, everyday self.
Go to Part 3 – Not to Worry »
Written by Lizzy Milani