Any dream, devoid of Jesus, becomes a nightmare. Any effort, apart from what God inspires, becomes self-defeating work. Any accomplishment, no matter how great it looks, done by performance leaves you fearful, desperately afraid you may fall flat in the future.
I was struck by these thoughts as I read singer Michael Buble’s words in this article:
‘I realised that for many years I couldn’t believe I was on the same stage as my heroes, that I was sharing a microphone with Tony Bennett or [Canadian pianist and singer] Diana Krall. I couldn’t believe I was looking across at someone like Paul McCartney, and I’d be saying things like, “It’s hard to get here, but my God it’s harder to stay here.”
‘But then I woke up and thought, “After ten years of trying to get here and five years of being scared it would go away, I think I can enjoy it.”’
There were people in my business life saying, “If you hadn’t done this or that, or you’d written a better song, tickets might be selling quicker.”
‘I started to take all that on board.”
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)
In some ways, I think I’ve subscribed to wanting to be successful. To maintaining an image. To vanity.
I perform. I feel the need to do things better than last time. I sometimes incline to impressing people to be accepted. I try to make people happy so as not to let them down. I go back and count up the things I could have done better.
But, at what cost?
Who am I performing for?
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mt. 16:26)
There’s no real gain without God.
And so, this gives my heart space today. Space to reconcile with God. Space to hear Him. Space to let go. Space to ask for discernment as to the next steps. Space to just “be”. Space to know him more. Space to realize that once you hit one plateau you feel an obligation to get to the next one. Space to be honest about my motives. Space to uncover God’s heart in me. Space to not be afraid of what it is God is calling me to. Space to become free. Space to be me. Space to grow. Space to uncover. Space to breathe.
What is God calling you to? Where do you feel an obligation to perform, to put on a show or to prove to man you are worthy? Might you consider giving yourself some space to find God’s love between your fast-paced steps of fear?
He wants to talk with you; I’m sure of it.