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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Success Comes from the Outside

It has been said that there are two tragedies in life. One is that you will not reach your goals. The other is that you will reach those goals.

It is easy to see our lives as meaningless if we never reach our goals. Think of all the people who are die young. They may have never married, had children or even graduated from anything. They may have had great minds and great potential for enhancing our world but they never got the opportunity. They never reached their goals. Truly, this is a tragedy.

But also think of the people who have no goals left. They have done everything they have set out to do. They have won the Nobel prize, written the great novels, been awarded the highest awards possible and don't know what to do next. They have no reason for living longer. They now exist without purpose. This, too, is a tragedy.

These are tragedies when success comes from the inside. We will fear both reaching and not reaching our goals if these goals come from the inside. Our lives must have more meaning than something we have generated within ourselves. Our lives must have an infusion of purpose that ends with life. Our lives must depend upon Someone who gives us that purpose from the outside rather than being generated from the inside. We will all eventually get to some point where the next hill is either too hard for us to climb or it is the highest hill left to climb and we will not have anything left to do. There must be a transcendent purpose which keeps us going to the very end.

Jesus knelt in a garden, knowing what He had to do. He had to be arrested that night. He knew He would be beaten severely. He knew that He would endure pain as no one had before. He would die within the next twenty-four hours. But His purpose did not exist within His own goals. It was given to Him by His Father. He prayed that this purpose would pass Him by. He asked for this fervently. The stress of this prayer caused His sweat to drop like blood.

So, Jesus said, "Yet, not my will but Yours be done." His success would come from the outside. It would be completed as it was intended at the very end.

Real success comes from the outside. It is given to us from One who knows us. He knows what we can do. He knows what we will do with Him. This success neither comes early nor does it leave us wanting for more time to accomplish it. It is our calling. It is our life.

John 19:28-30 (NIV)
28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

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