The success of spirituality

The pressure and frustration that sometimes accompany professional attainment can obscure the deeper purpose of our lives. There's a better way to measure our value.

Several years ago I began to experience serious misgivings about my career. Although in a prestigious profession with a premier firm and by all appearances humanly successful, I felt my life was out of control. I worked nights, Sundays, and holidays to maintain what I had achieved. There was little time for active church work—just Sunday attendance. And during "free" time with my family, I could think of nothing but work. A persistent feeling that I was misplaced in my profession increased the stress and frustration.

After several years I finally turned totally to God, longing for even the faintest feeling of real self-knowledge and direction. I promised God I would sacrifice any of my worldly success for a clearer idea of who I was and of what He wanted me to do. I began to realize that I was suffering from attraction to a popular model of external success as I persisted in a career that wasn't right for me. Much advertising and popular entertainment delineate this common model of success—wealth, fast-track career movement, positions of glamour and influence. In reality, however, bright, ambitious people can make a shambles of their lives through an obsession with this very same model.

February 29, 1988

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