What are you really chasing?

For most of my life, it felt like most of my goals had been handed to me–not necessarily by a single person, but by life in general. For example, I went to school as a child because I had to. I did my homework and made good grades in classes because I was supposed to. I graduated high school and went on to college because it was the logical next step. I picked a major in college based on subjects I was really good at because it made sense. I interned while  in college for three straight summers because I was told it was a good idea. I graduated college and went to work for the first company to give me an offer because it seemed smart. Then I got a graduate degree because I heard it was a box to check on the way to the top of Corporate America. So now what?

While none of these aspirations were bad, none of them were intentional either. It took me until this point in my life to realize that I had never really planned out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. That’s when I realized that what I really wanted to do more than anything was retire. Yes, retire. I’m not sure who’s idea it was that people should work 40+ hours per week, 5 days per week, but it was a whack idea. I don’t have a family yet, but when I do, I’d like to have time to spend with them. I’d like to have time to travel. I’d like to be able to do whatever on earth I want to do. Unfortunately, I also like living… in a home (I’ve seen some nice refrigerator boxes behind Lowe’s, but none of them look particularly “homey”). I like being able to walk into said home and have heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. During meal times, I enjoy eating food–food that has not been recently found dead in the middle of the street, barking at passing cars, and/or been previously eaten by someone or something else (Please also include food that is not a human face). For now, in order to enjoy those things I have to work.

Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of time into trying to develop additional streams of income so that I can retire sooner. I’m convinced that there must be a way to work smarter, rather than harder, to make this work despite the economy. After weeks and weeks of brainstorming and trying to flesh out ideas, I began to question myself, “What are my motives? What am I really chasing?” At the moment, I don’t know that I have a solid answer.

This question is an important one. For those of us who consider ourselves to be Christian, it is a must ask. We’re called to be the “salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13), to share the Light with everyone around us (Matt 5:15), and to direct others to the Well from which Living Water and eternal life spring (John 4:10). Anything that comes in the way of that call is a vain pursuit. When we stand before God on judgement day, it won’t matter how much fun we had, how well-liked we were, how successful we became, or how much money we made. What will matter is how well we shared the love of Christ with others. Our obedience to His call will matter. Our biggest impact in life will not be how well people remember us, but in how well we cause people to remember Him. My friend, Monica, had this down.

I’m not saying that your goals or mine are totally off. I’m saying that there has to be a balance. There isn’t a thing on earth that any of us should chase harder than we chase Christ. My challenge to you today is the same one I’m giving to myself: Enjoy life. Have fun. Laugh. Love. Make Goals, and conquer them. But above all, chase Christ.

Until next time…

-Erik (@WalkSays)

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Erik Walker

Erik is black.

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