Which you chase is up to you. You choose. Just remember, friend, your choices have consequences.
What you choose about what you chase matters. It’s been said we humans can go without food for weeks, water for days, and air for minutes — but without a meaningful reason to live? without hope? A few seconds.
Howard Hendricks, longtime seminary professor and chaplain to Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys, said “most men die at 30….and are buried at 80.” As an English major studying the Romantic literature writings of Keats/Shelley/Wordsworth/Coleridge/Lord Byron, my final thesis was about what happened as they neared the age of 30 and became aware of their own mortality. The writings of their youth exuded bright pastels of Spring and vibrant primary colors of early Summer. Then something happened — “they saw too deep into the sea.” Their writings became despondent, taking on the waning earthy tones of Fall — and then despairing, foreshadowing Winter’s inevitable darkness. Most of them died young, unromantic deaths.
Most of us? We stop dreaming, start dreading, and start slowly dying.
You are I are not wired to chase the almighty buck. The chase leads to anxiety and more dread, not less. The meaning you assign to money matters. Here’s a monetary evaluation you may not have heard before – money does not have inherent value. It only has derived value — the meaning you assign to it. Money can be used to serve a meaning, but money makes a poor god and a poor master.
Want to become a highly paid laborer and live a life of desperation? Trust in money over meaning — it’s a certain slow death and you’ll die with your song still inside you.
Want a life of OPUS? Trust in meaning over money. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Instead of chasing the money, if you follow the money, it just may lead you to the meaning you think it can buy. If you follow the meaning, it just may lead you to something money can’t buy. Funny thing is, even money doesn’t trust in itself — “IN GOD WE TRUST” is what’s printed on your money.
Want something you can take to the bank? Meaningless-ness leads to cynicism. Settling for the mean leads to average. If you seek meaning, you will find what’s meaningful. And when you find what’s meaningful, you will find a life of OPUS. And in doing so, something else weird — along the way, you just may find yourself. Not normal.
As Toto likes to say, “No why? No way. Know why? Know the way.”
Write, my friend. Tell us more. What have you been chasing? What have you been trusting in and banking on? When was the last time you let yourself dream? What is meaningful for you?
Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…