About a million books are written on this topic, so many that I roll my eyes when I see another one. And my method may not work for everyone because everyone is so different, but for me this works. Firstly, my qualifications: I came from a humble farming family in a small town in the Midwest with an abusive sibling, a neglectful parent, and moved out of the house at 16 years of age. An with all that history, I supported myself fully since moving out, paying my own way with a car and full time job and finished full time college to arrive at a doctorate, opened and operated my own private practice and have two really good kids, a good husband and beautiful home in a nice neighborhood, have written and published 4 books, have written and published songs, sang and played piano in bands for large audiences, and more. Now a lot of this is what people consider success and by most standards, I am very successful, rags to riches sort of thing. So I know something of success. But the more I have seen of it, the more convinced I am that the bulk of my success has nothing to do with my own strong will and work ethic and everything to do with my moments of humility where I let God take care of me. I am strong and confident and resourceful but God is all that and about a billion times more in every way. God knows everything and provides more and with love than we can. And my greatest success in my life came when I humbly crumbled in His arms and begged His help. And He provides substantially every single time you ask him to as your goal is to be closer to Him and not just get rich. See, the humble part is the biggest part but the other important part is your motivation for success. I want to please God and serve Him. That is it. I want that more than I want stuff, even nice stuff. That is real success: humble spirit of prayer and wanting to please God. That, my friends, is true success. The other stuff can get pretty distracting from true success. And true success is the only kind that yields eternal rewards. And that is what makes it true. ❤
So, life is working itself out with you. You feel like you might be enjoying the ride a bit. Then all of a sudden, there is an unexpected plot twist, some turn that leaves you amazed and intrigued and then petrified, when you realize that you are not the Hero of the story. It dawns on you that you are the Hero’s assistant! There is no guarantee that all will turn out okay by the end of the story. There is no happy ending necessarily for you. It could really go both ways. Suddenly the stakes are higher and you are much more concerned with the story and its plot. You care more now that you understand the story has very sincere possible endings for you in it. So what do you do? You be sure to keep very close to the Hero of the story, of course. Why? Because we know the Hero will win. He already has won. The closer you are to the Hero, the better your chances of survival. It is just that simple. And then an interesting counter twist is presented and the Hero tells you He has the power to ensure your success at the end of the story because the end of the story is just the beginning. And you smile and accept the Hero’s offer and play out the rest of the story with confidence and thankfulness and peace and joy, knowing full well you will win with the Hero in the end. The book is sealed. The story is true. The story is mine. It could be yours. It is the Bible and Jesus Christ is the Hero.
My husband and I are mildly romantic with each other all year long. We don’t depend on a designated day derived to sell overpriced dying flowers and fantastic chocolates or horribly unnatural and contrived romance movies or being shot in the butt with arrows. This being said, I am rocking my love to my husband with the romance of helping him with whatever he needs as a post operative knee patient. To my husband, the best and most romantic thing I can do for him is bring him meals in bed and fresh water with a straw because he can not move without pain right now. I am a sexy servant by choice because he needs me and I love him and am here for him. Do I have disappointment by not being taken out for “Valentine’s Day”? Nope. I think that would be silly and stupid and selfish. Romance is not all that unnatural emotional garbage Hollywood pumps out and hurls in our faces and especially not the demeaning and demoralizing porn they serve everywhere (even if it is popular and highly promoted and encourages manipulated sex bondage slaves in the guise of “romance”- I really can’t believe people are actually going to pay to see women so abused). True romance is loving your spouse how they feel the most loved when they don’t expect it but often enough that they always feel loved. And true romance and love is faithful and purposeful and gets better all the time. And for those who are single and might feel sorry about being g single on this one particular made up day, it is much better to holdout for something true and God-sent rather than have an emotional day experience followed by a cheating failure. You and God are worth more than that. We spouses (and one day probably you will be in that category with someone God sends you) can love on each other any day we want to. You are not less for avoiding a disaster and you are so much more and wiser for holding out for the true romance that lasts a lifetime. 🙂
There is a myth concerning accomplishment and that is that we should take pride in anything we invent, create, think up, are in charge of, etc. The myth is that we accomplish anything like that at all. Let me explain. God, who made us and everything we know, is the Creator and Inventor of the universe, us and everything we know about and many things we don’t. God is Creator and Inventor, Master Artist, Director, etc. and when we have performed a tiny role in any of this, it should never be for our glory or be a reason to brag or puff up with pride. Nothing is new under the sun. We constantly have to fight pride because pride destroys, one haughty thought after another, and is at the root of all evil because it was the root of the evil sin the evil one first committed. It is his language now and is the basis of all he tries to work his lying ways on us. I used to live for compliments. As I have matured in my faith, I have changed my motivation along with my goals. Instead of accomplishing my own agenda, I am most at peace and happy, joyful really, when I feel in my heart I am humbling myself enough to be working to accomplish God’s goals in the situation and allowing Him to work in me. It is counter intuitive in our culture and humility has come to be known as something vile or undesirable and unwelcome because it is not flattering or uplifting to one’s sense of identity or persona. Dribble is what that is. Pure dribble. Why? The closer I get to the Lord humbly, the greater sense of self I have because I see better the family resemblance. I know more Whose I am and so live in the most natural realm for me in the world we know, that of God’s will which we discover from His Word and prayer. Knowing we are God’s creation and humble adopted children places far greater worth on us than I could ever find following any other creation, including myself. Selfish pride robs you of your identity and joy because it distracts you with visions of grandeur and hope for meaning in self when we get that best with a personal relationship with the One who made us and designed everything. If we brag, we should brag that we got out of the way to allow God to shine through us. If I brag I want to brag that I am a servant of the Almighty and most Magnificent Holy God. He knows me by name, loves me unconditionally and will work His will through me. Wow!