That’s me in the middle of my career as a corporate CEO chasing success. A horrible picture to be sure. But it’s a perfect picture, too, because it is EXACTLY how I felt. How I was. How I was destined to be.
Thankfully, the story took a turn in a different direction. Let me tell you the story.
I roared out of college and attacked my business career with a vengeance. Having played football through college and ice hockey from age 4 to 14, I took that competitiveness into my adult life and it wasn’t long before I was hitting success at every turn. At age 33, I became President and CEO of the marketing organization for an industry with $1 Billion invested and $300 million in annual sales. I said, “I made it!” God said, “Welcome to the world’s stress chamber.”
I found time to attend church through these years, but that was the extent of my commitment to God. During this period of my life, I thought being a Christian meant you were nice to people and prayed if someone was in the hospital. I didn’t have any spiritual discernment. I didn’t have any Godly wisdom. And I definitely didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I was an activity management machine with a wonderful “system” for my life, but I hadn’t thought for even one minute about the consequences of my quest. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is clear now that I was ignoring the impact my quest for success was having on me and my family.
Looking back, it’s clear that I had seen the sun, but never seen it shine. I had met thousands of people speaking around the world, but never touched anyone in a meaningful way for God. I was a wildly successful CEO who “knew about God” without ever feeling His peace in my heart.
Thankfully, God used the Spiritual Maturity Class 201 taught by Pastor Tom Holladay at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California to dismantle the myths that had formed my flawed view of Christianity. Pushing back my angst, I made a decision that day to subordinate doubt and turn everything over to God. I made a strong commitment to start the habits of a disciple taught in that class and was blessed beyond comprehension–as a husband, father, lay pastor, and CEO.
Here I am in another picture–fully released from the bondage of striving and stressing for success on the world’s track. Here I am committed to following Christ and living out my purpose in life. Here I am encouraging you to consider what may be wrong with your “life picture.”
What a blessing. Love God Fear Nothing, indeed.
“But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:33