In a few days now, I will celebrate my 67th birthday. With all the health challenges I’ve faced, I consider just reaching three-score-and-seven an accomplishment!
That’s what our lives are geared for here in the USA, right? Striving for success, the right to pursue happiness, and the freedom to do so. Yes? How does one measure our success in those pursuits? Well, for me, the measures have been different for different periods in my life,
As a youth, I measured my success via athletics — on basketball and racquetball courts, on football and baseball fields, via tennis and volleyball matches. I set down goals, and pursued them with every ounce of energy I could muster. In early adulthood, I learned of more concrete ways to measure my success as a man. Taking responsibility for a wife, for the arrival and rearing of children, and for professional achievement.
By midlife, I felt accomplished as a man. Some might even gauge my abilities at that time as the ‘apex of achievement.’ I was standing firm as the head of my household, posing atop a mountain of professional awards and achievement–but, underneath it all, I was crumbling from the weight of my world. That’s when I discovered the actual peak of human achievement. It wasn’t in standing triumphant, but in kneeling in supplication to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, I found a Peace, a Shower of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Blessings unknown to me up to that point.
In that Shower of Blessings, my inner struggle with resentment, my yearnings for personal accomplishment, and recognition were replaced by the need of a Savior. In Jesus Christ, I found the Apex of Human Accomplishment while kneeling.. By giving my ALL to Him, I found new depths of compassion for others. In pursuing my Love for Jesus Christ, I opened my arms to embrace an orphan as my own son. In pursuing my love for Jesus Christ, I was led to a higher place where fathers and sons can find forgiveness and reconciliation. In pursuing my love for Jesus Christ, He opened my heart to seek out a half-sister I had never met, and restore her to our family tree. Still further along in that journey of Love for Jesus Christ, He has led me to submit to the caregiving of my wife, daughter and son-in-law–truly a supernatural feat over my pride, self-reliance and mistaken idea of manliness. The Apex of Accomplishment, for me, was found ON MY KNEES in prayerful surrender of my will to the Will of God.
Oh, how I wish I had found that APEX OF ACCOMPLISHMENT sooner in life. Hand in hand with Jesus Christ, it is clear there are no boundaries to ‘accomplishment’ in His Mission for Humankind. I had to be brought to my knees at the Savior’s Feet. I had to be made willing to bend my will to His, before I could truly be of use to Him. In that realization, I look lovingly into my Savior’s Eyes now and find only compassion staring warmly back at me. That is more than enough. — FM