25 to Life

There once was a little boy.  As he grew he had dreams of doing amazing things. When he was in school he was told that he could do anything he set his mind to. But when he got out and entered “the real world” he realized everything isn’t that easy. He needed a way to make money and he had a decision to make.  His choice lands him a 3-5 year sentence in a 6’ cubicle.  All those dreams he had gradually died.  All the good he wanted to do gave way to a need to survive. He served his time but when he got out he no longer remembered the dreams he had. He makes another bad decision, but this one lands him in his “prison” for 25-life. The man dies tired and disappointed.

This is the story of almost every man in America.  A study done in 1975 showed that a majority of men are dissatisfied with their work, and that it adversely impacts such basic things as their health. A study done by the military showed that when men get the job they want, they are three times as likely to be satisfied. The more satisfied they are the better they perform. We have created a culture that puts little value on God-given gifts and talents and instead puts the focus on degrees, business experience, and company politics. In our world people aren’t defined as who God made them to be, but who they’ve made themselves into.

But this doesn’t make us happier, and it doesn’t make the world a better place–the number one thing most men complain about is their jobs. We’ve traded in God’s plan for our lives in exchange for the American Dream of wealth and comfort. But the results aren’t what we expected. We thought money could buy us freedom–even freedom from God’s will. Instead, we we bind the millstone of money more tightly around our neck as we enter a false paradise.

Contrast that with what Scripture says about our vocations:

God has a plan for us, He created us for a purpose, and to deny that purpose is to deny ourselves joy. Further, to deny others the opportunity to fulfill their purposes because they’re too young, don’t have the right education, or they lack business experience, is to ignore the fact that when God calls us to do something, He gives us the grace to do it.

“So whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Luke 16:13

“’For I know the plans I have for you,'” declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
This week, challenge yourself to listen to the ideas of someone younger than you, someone with less education than you, or someone with less business experience than you. Thoughtfully consider what they have to say as you would with one of your peers. If you truly consider their ideas instead of writing them off immediately, you may be surprised by what you hear. God gives wisdom to the most unlikely individuals.

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3 thoughts on “25 to Life

  1. Wow! Great post! Excellent writing and compelling message! This doesn’t just apply to men, of course—even women can find themselves giving up their dreams to survive economically—but since this is primarily a blog for men, I’ll overlook the omission. :o)

    My follow-up question would be: What’s the remedy? What would you tell a young(er) man who wants to pursue his dreams, but is faced with the necessities of paying rent, buying a car, supporting a family, etc.? How would you counsel someone who is “caught” in a job he or she does not enjoy, but can’t find a feasible alternative? Who holds the power to change the system and open up the door for men (and women) to do what God has called and gifted them to do? Just some thoughts for further reflection (Can you tell your post got me thinking?).

    Oh, and, for the record, I have now listened to the ideas of someone younger than myself. :o)

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