Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash…
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, first-hand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung.”
Philippians 3: 7-8 (The Message)
I have a couple of questions for you today to think about: What defines you? What defines your life?
Consider this—in any given season of collegiate or professional sports —whether college or professional football teams preparing for the fall season, Major League baseball in its stretch run these last few months for the playoffs, or basketball just around the corner—teams begin the year with a focus on being the last one standing with the championship trophy.
In college, hundreds of teams in all divisions begin the year with a dream of being that one. In MLB, the NFL, NBA, the National Hockey League, and others—only one outcome is acceptable and after a time changes occur when it doesn’t occur. And winning, standing at the end of the season, at the end of the day, and even standing at the end of our lives with the trophy in hand—begins to define us and our lives.
And unfortunately, it begins to weave itself into the day-to-day journey of our lives, and begins to define the decisions we make, the roads we take, the schedules we follow, and the people we spend time with. And it begins to happen each and every day of our lives in every setting. Doesn’t it?
If that were the end-all-be-all—winning—most everyone would end the year or the season as failures. And I wonder if that is really true, and really the way we should look at it and allow it to define us. Many think so. However, the Apostle Paul, in the passage above, seems to refer to that approach about those things he once thought as important, and the credentials which were defining who he was—as “dog dung!”
Here’s the truth of the matter—whatever is most important to you and me defines who we are. Wherever we put our time, our talent, our resources, our energy, our focus—defines who we are. Whatever we value, and hold as values, whatever our purpose, our vision for our future—will define who we are.
So if your life is pointed at wins and trophies (which you have to keep shining to keep from tarnishing), or if it’s pointed at money or the accumulation of things, or accomplishments and awards hanging on the walls of your office or home, for which others recognize you, those will define you. And all of that will also be how the world around you will define you. I wonder what the Apostle Paul would say.
But maybe your life is pointed at your family, spouse, children, grandchildren and other special people in your life, and at friends, and time spent with all of them. And maybe it’s pointed at someone or something in need, or in making a difference in the world with the gifts, abilities and resources you have been blessed with. That will also define you. I wonder what the Apostle Paul would say then.
So, back to where we started—in your time spent in the pursuits of business, sports, family, helping others in the community around you and in the world—what defines you?
Here’s a thought, if you dare. What if you asked someone close to you—your bride, or husband, your child or grandchild, an honest friend, a trusted someone who has observed your journey through this life you were given—to tell you what they believe defines you? What would they say defines you?
And then ponder this—is that what you want to define your one and only life?
In His Name—Scott