I used to have this great desire to work my way up the ladder. I can attribute much of that (not all) to an inward desire to be significant. Though I’m still trying to figure out why that desire is there, because it is still there, it doesn’t rear it’s head up as often as it used to. To be looked at as important, clever, needed, valued…all desires of mine that need to be met. But I looked for those needs to be met in working my way up the ladder, even though those ladders are as rickety and worn as they are.
I was trying to find roots. Something I could sink my teeth into, grab a hold of, cling onto when all else fell apart. Working your way up the ladder is ok if that is what God is leading you to. But when you are working your way up as a way of looking for security, significance or importance, then I would question whether that ladder will ever provide that for you.
Roots are needed by all of us, but what are we rooting ourselves is the tricky part. Henri Nouwen writes that it would be better if we were “rooted without being ‘settled with title, salary and prestige.'” He continues in his letter,”The solution-I think-is not in moving to another outer place but to another inner place,” (Love Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life; Convergent, 2016).
I wrote in my last post about the “now whats” that we ask ourselves when we are in an unforeseen transition. In my past, I was always looking towards the “now what.” The “next thing,” “bigger opportunity” or “next step” that was coming down the line. Maybe it wasn’t a physical move but it was a shift of focus. These things aren’t bad in and of themselves, at least mine weren’t. But where my folly came was pinning that desire for significance, value, worth, importance on something other than what God has already given me. It may not be something that I can hang on my wall, show on a budget sheet or print on a business card. But it is something far greater than a rickety ladder made by man. It’s moving to a different inward place. Hopefully, you can start moving that way today.
be blessed today