I recently turned 39, 1 year shy of 40.
I had the realisation - I am half way there (provided I live to be 80-ish) to the end.
I spent the day after my recent birthday, reminiscing on my life.
I entertained thoughts along the lines of was I on track for where God wanted me, had I accomplished much, what could I still accomplish and importantly, what had I learned?
So they say to be successful in life, you need to have a career. What is a career anyway? I consulted Google for a quick answer and was presented with the following definition:
‘An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress.’
I pondered this for a while and feel most people would not have a career. Most people would work a job as a career has opportunities for progress. I’m my line of work there is nowhere to progress to, I just work and receive a wage in return.
Should I, or even you if you just work a regular job, feel bad I do not have a career?
Did Jesus have a career?
1 John chapter 2, verses 15-17: ‘Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.’
Learning: Don’t be so quick to judge
I feel this is a big to be able to fully grasp. I used to be terrible at this, summarising everybody based on their outer appearance and behaviour. God spent time over the years, shaping my thoughts away from being so judgmental to more positive thoughts of compassion and understanding.
I believe I was allowed to go through events in life to change those thoughts. I used to be quite opinionated, albeit to myself, about people who were overweight, the disabled, poor, etc., until God allowed me to personally experience those things.
At one point, I had nothing. I had lost my job, sold the few things I had just to eat including a rare late 1800’s pocket watch which was given to me by my Nana for my 21st birthday - I still have trouble forgiving myself for selling it but when you have no money to buy food, ‘things’ have little value.
I was quite fit when I was younger and used to think overweight people were just lazy. Then I went through a set of circumstances where I became very overweight, and experienced all the thoughts and physical effects which come with it. I then received the comments, eye rolls and lack of interest from the opposite sex of those I once mocked.
I used to get annoyed at the disabled, and I found some to be very rude which fuelled my opinions. Then I had an accident where I could not walk unassisted for almost 6 months. I was now the slow one getting in the way and feeling like a burden. I was even shoved out of the way by a woman in a rush at a major shopping centre!
I started to resent my condition and got really frustrated at life and I recall the moment God revealed to me this all had purpose – the reason some people turn the way they do.
In these cases and more, I now knew what it was like. As it is written, ‘The measure you judge by will be judged back to you.’
Mathew chapter 7, verse 2 says, ‘For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. ... For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you’ (KJV).
People will use you, friends included.
This always used to affect me. People posing as your friend will only contact you when they need something, suddenly turn on you or worse. You can be there for them through thick and thin only to have them turn their back in time of need. It’s not always like this of course, but it can be is my point.
Just remember, you are just as prone to doing this, as no matter how hard you try, you cannot please everybody and know what people are thinking.
We are all in a fallen state and will make mistakes, just freely forgive and move forward – it’s a lot easier.
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics technician currently working in the Commercial transaction IT industry. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-dahlenburg.html