As most of you know, I’m like velcro when it comes to soaking up life stories. Recently, I listened in as a husband and wife lamented their daughter’s substance use disorder and recounted all the ways her life was ruined as a result of her addiction. They talked about her enforced withdrawal from grad school; the missed opportunities; the loss of future earning potential; the shame. They lamented the totalled BMW that had been her gift for graduating from college. They complained about the awkward conversations at work and the local club where dad played competitive golf and mom was an avid tennis player. Let’s be honest; all parents go through this – a child with an SUD is a terrible suffering. They just happened to be doing it within the culture of high expectations and wealth. This was one of those listening moments for me, no conversation needed. But here’s what i would have liked to say, if the opportunity had presented itself.
I know in this culture, we believe that success and all its accessories are super important. But God chose to plant Jesus in a family of simple, “blue-collar” people. They lived in a village that would have been considered below middle class. This is the community God picked for the son of God, son of man to come of age. Maybe if this is good enough for God’s boy, it might be a good idea rethink our core value of success at all costs.
I sent one of my kids an article this week about the joys of the uninspired life. The writer talked about having small but profound aspirations in life. And she dared to suggest that this was an abundant way to live. Less pressure. No frills but also little to maintain. My child asked me, “Why exactly did you send me this?” I think my kid sensed some hidden message of lowered expectations. Maybe felt a little defensive?
But my point was this. In a world that is all the time telling you what you must acquire and accomplish in order to be successful, I wanted to highlight one lone voice in the wilderness that cried for a different worldview.
From the conception of Jesus onward, God calls us to a different worldview. And it changes everything. What worldview are you living by?