April 17, 2016
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
This quote from Francis Chan really resonated with one of the reasons why we are deciding to travel full time. I am noticing how much people chase after things that don’t really matter in life. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share this intensive time with my children exploring the United States as a family. But even more, I want to use this time to continue to instill in them a focus to always pursue what really matters in life.
I look back at my own life. I was much more intense in my younger days. I graduated at the very top of my class, as I pretty much cried if I received an A-. In college, I was a leader, a principle investigator, and an honor graduate. I then started an engineering career right out of college and worked outside the home for the first couple of years of marriage.
Now that I am at a later point in my life, I see the futility in all of that. I have thrown my trophies away. I don’t display the awards that were boxed up long ago. I haven’t worked as an engineer for years and hope never to return to it. If I clung to what I did in the past, I would laugh at it just as much as seeing an old man still proudly wearing his high school’s letterman’s jacket. Why? Everything the world chases after and those past accomplishments are pointless and we all know it. But ever since we were young, we were pushed to pursue those things. Thankfully my relationship with my God and Savior, Jesus, put lasting meaning in my life.
My story is nothing unique, in fact a guy from the Bible named Paul had a similar story before Jesus got ahold of him. He had it all put together by the world’s standards, but this is what he said about it afterwards in Philippians 3:8,10:
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”.
When Paul became a believer, he lost his societal standing and everything else he had worked for up until that point in time. He began seeing with eternal eyes. He saw the futility of his accomplishments in comparison to doing something in life that would matter for eternity. This started first with reconciling himself with his Creator. Because he did that, he was able to be instrumental in spreading the Good News of salvation and hope around the world. He did this until he was martyred.
During these short parenting years, I will continue to encourage my children to do things in life that will matter for eternity. This includes having a true relationship with God, to act as Jesus would, and to serve Him in some fashion, standing strong, even if it results in persecution in some form. I must not fear the potential of failing to reach this goal. It will be worth it all when I see my boys succeed at things that really do matter in life.
Until we meet again,