Unselfish ambition 

I should be falling apart right now. Mentally, emotionally, physically… But, I’m not. Yeah, I’m saddened and somewhat bewildered by the present situation. Thats not the same as feeling hopelessly adrift in the depths of my emotional self.

Not that it would be unreasonable for me to breakdown and fall apart at the moment. Life has thrown a lot at me lately. If I felt the need to fall apart, I’d allow myself that freedom. I just… I just don’t feel broken anymore

At first, I questioned my sanity. How can I still feel relatively at peace in this chaos?  Have I lost my grip on reality?

But I haven’t lost my grip on reality– I’ve purposely loosened it.

I no longer feel the need to control things largely outside of my control. I’ve spent a good chunk of my time railing at the Universe, but the only thing that changed was me.

 I didn’t see that coming. 

I’m ok not being wealthy or outwardly successful or self-righteous. Or, even married! That I even pursued such things for myself goes against my own faith… I failed to realize that my ambitions transgressed the very principles of my Christian faith, until my ambition failed to carry me through personal trial. Then it was obvious.

Selfish ambition has been my go-to strategy of dealing with the pain and hardships of life. It has kept me from completely reverting to a state of powerlessness, self-pity and victimstance. However, ambition has its limits. It couldn’t pull me out of the hopelessness I felt after being forced out of Seminary. Neither could self-pity and victimhood (Not that I didn’t try that perspective on for size… That’s how I know it doesn’t work).

Even now, assessing the state of my marriage during separation, I’m not tempted to rush in and try to ‘fix’ everything. If my marriage is a reflection of my humanness, so be it. I am human.  Human beings can learn much from their mistakes. I think we can learn more from our mistakes than we can from our successes.

No. To rush in and be the rescuer again transgresses my spouse. Is God’s arm too short to save? I think not! I’d only be serving my self in ‘rescuing’ my marriage. 

I am not a victim here. Neither am I a savior. Who I am lies somewhere inbetween. I am responsible for me, I can let God be responsible for others. Even when it hurts to let go and let God. 

I can be responsible for me.

I can’t change other people. God can. And I can change myself with God’s help.

Whenever I’ve tried to change myself outside of God, selfish ambition took the reins.

No more. 

My ambition is a gift. I have used it selfishly. I can use it to protect freedom instead of using it to gain control or to polish my self-image.

But in order to do so, I have to let go of my human need for control.

Not an easy feat! 

I’m getting there. One prayerful step at a time. And, as I am doing so, I’m beginning to see God work in and through my current circumstances. That’s God for ya– we spend our whole lives here trying to accomplish things, and lamenting our inability to do so according to our own will. And God’s all like ‘If you want to accomplish something with eternal rewards, you’re gonna have to let go of striving for the temporal ones…’

All right, God. You win. Again.

I’ll be me, You be You, and lets make something eternally beautiful together.


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