Life does the most sometimes. It will never not do the most – I’m almost sure that is 100% correct grammatically.
There is always a next thing. A next level to reach, mountain to climb, TPS report to finish, promotion to get, follower count to reach. Achieving what’s “next” is a rampant idea in popular culture. Culture would have us believe achievement is paramount to our existence and satisfaction is finally getting to the level your parent / teacher / boss / best friend / random instagram influencer / or Gary Vee always told you you could reach.
Have you ever noticed that the moment you reach that ‘next’ level, success still feels elusive? It’s a moving target. We must be better than the day before at all costs and #TeamNoSleep, #GirlBoss are aspirational markers. I fall into this trap too many times. So how do we stop feeling like we are on an endless cycle of doing too much and not enough all at the same time?
Yes, achievement is a wonderful thing. It simply is not THE thing. I’ve decided to adjust my approach a bit and now my ultimate goal is contentment instead. It is not easy. I forget everyday, at least twice. But it is exhausting to live in the in between. Can you relate?
You are valuable whether or not you produce something tangible by the end of the day. Your enoughness does not depend on the things you have done but, rather, the fruit you bare. Focusing on the achieving all the things takes us off course. We miss the God moments – the opportunities He gives us to use our work for His glory in our everyday tasks. If God has graced us for what is we are doing, we can trust that, if we partner with Him on it it will reach it’s truest version of success – and there’s nothing that can stop it.
What would our lives be like if we were simply content to be where we were, not complacent – mind you – but content. At peace with what we have done hitherto as well as at peace with how far we have to go. My boy, Paul, said it best – life is extra, but I have learned to be content through the nonsense of it all (this is a loose translation of Philippians 4:11-13, but ya’ll get it). Learning present contentment is a much better foundation to work from than craving the future pacification that things and accolades don’t actually bring. It’s already here – attainable now.
In this, we give space to for God in our work instead of God, then our work,
“God has mad YOU a carrier of His presence, You are a carrier of His glory. You are a carrier of His fire. This is true even if you are not called to the office of an apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, or evangelist in the church. You are a Kingdom entrepreneur, and God desires to use you mightily in the marketplace to bring His transforming presence. …
when you are doing what the Lord has called you to do in business, that your very work is worship, bring s glory to Him, and can usher in the presence of God…you don’t have to try so hard to …force something to happen in your interactions with people through your business, when you can simply invite His presence and yield yourself and your work to God.” (YouVersion Devotional: Demonstrating God’s Presence in Business).
Do all of the things, yes. It’s not wrong to have goals and want to be a high achiever. We should want to strive for excellence in what we do. It’s just that we tend to let the quest for those things consume us, worry us, and stress us out, leading to achievement with an unsatisfying outcome.
When you allow space for God to work in your work, it takes on a whole new level of power where we can rely on His grace to get it done and do far more important work that we can achieve on our own. The ultimate goal is not achievement, friends, it’s contentment. Get you some.