Weekly Thought – November 25, 2014
Fred and Mary Alice greatly appreciated the Thanksgiving time. For years, the entire family would gather at their house to share delicious food and great laughter. Fred sat at the head of the table, thoroughly enjoying the interchange among the family and contributing his thoughts, of course. Mary Alice lived Thanksgiving all year. Whenever the family got together she would smile and say, “Now THIS is Thanksgiving.”
We at BWF are indeed thankful to the Lord for His gracious gift of ministry. We are grateful to you all who express appreciation for the words of Fred. And your generous gifts of love continually strengthen us week by week.
Does Success Trump Saintliness? (Part 2)
I’ve known and seen a good many talented young people who rise rapidly in their business careers. And then, for seemingly no reason at all, they flatten out onto a plateau where they then remain for the rest of their time. After thoughtful observation, I’ve arrived at a hypothesis which satisfies me.
At first, they are alive with the physical energy of youth. They are new on the job and possess a vibrancy and zest for the game that is irresistible – even all-consuming. Competition for promotion spurs them on, and they move ahead – up the ladder of success with what appears to be inexhaustible drive.
Then at around age 40 the sheer physical drive begins to level off. A subtle change is occurring. The juices just don’t flow on command as before. And to continue the climb a second force must take over – a spiritual energy or drive. You see, for most of us life is like a two stage rocket. The first stage is sheer physical energy. It ignites and we take off. Then as physical energy diminishes, the spiritual stage must ignite to boost us on toward the heights.
Now, this matter of “spiritual energy” is a tricky thing because in this context I am not using the term in a religious sense. But as a description of the inner core – the spirit of a person. I think there are two components: ego and responsibility. On the surface there may seem to be little difference between the two, but one is creatively constructive while the other is tragically destructive. Running on ego alone destroys a person like trying to operate a fine machine without lubricants… the motor will soon burn out and become utterly useless.
Frequently, I fly through Nashville and sometimes see men doing menial jobs at the airport who were classmates of mine in high school. For the most part they made better grades than I did and were more active in social affairs or athletics. Optimistic predictions were made for their futures, and they did seem to get off to a fast start. But when their youthful energy and job challenge began to wear off, there was no inner drive – no human spirit – to take over for the next stage of life.
On the other hand, a sense of responsibility provides enormous energy and releases a uniting force which seems to move a person toward wholeness.
I am inclined to think in today’s world people are more responsive to ego energy than to responsibility energy. But I am convinced energy born out of responsibility is longer lasting and more rewarding.
Think about: 1) How much of my energy depends on the physical? 2) How do I distinguish between ego driven and responsibility driven actions I take? 3) How strong is the second stage of my rocket?
Words of Wisdom: “For most of us life is like a two-stage rocket. The first stage depends on physical energy, but the second demands inner strength.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Because of the long distance you must travel, you get tired, but you do not say, ‘I give up.’ You get renewed energy, so you don’t collapse.” (Isaiah 57:10 NET Bible)