I spent a decade working on achieving what I am very near to achieving. At this time next year, I could very likely be a partner in a successful criminal defense law firm. I will have the financial security that I used to dream about as I walked to class at UNCG in the boiling heat, wondering what it would be like to be able to afford my own car. Wondering what it would be like to live in one of those beautiful brick homes that lined the street towards the college. I used to think...one day...
And now, here I am...and my priorities seem to be changing. I'm in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and none of that stuff seems to matter any more. It certainly doesn't seem like it should be a final destination.
I visited with a good friend from church tonight. This is a guy who has achieved a lot of worldly success at a young age. I plopped my son down on his couch to watch power rangers, and we migrated to the kitchen to chat about things. We watched a bit of Keller online, and discussed how to live an authentic Christian life. We talked about how worldly aims that used to have a lot of meaning, didn't inspire us anymore. We talked about money, and how to balance the worldly with the heavenly. We talked about Church planting. It was really great to be in fellowship with him. We both want to live a dramatic life for Christ...but how do you do that when you've got a young wife and child? How do you forsake your worldly success, when there are others to think about? Where do you draw the line? How much is enough?
I've been reading 'The New Testament in Modern English' translated by JB Phillips. It's similar to the to 'The Message' by Peterson, but written decades earlier. It takes less liberties than the Message, but is just a really great and easy read. Anyway...I came across The Letter to Phillipi. Here's what I found:
"Every advantage I had gained, I considered loss for Christ's sake. Yes, and I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Christ Jesus my lord. For his sake I did in actual fact suffer the loss of everything, but I considered it useless rubbish compared with being able to win Christ. For now my place is in him, and I am not dependent on any of the self achieved righteousness of the law. God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: no I long to share his suffering, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain, as he did, the resurrection from the dead."
That is how I feel! That is what happens when one is smitten by the love of Christ. How changed are my ambitions indeed.