Monday, January 16, 2017

Ambition

Ambition...isn't that an interesting word? When I think of people who are ambitious, I envision people who are always on the go. They have people to see and places to go. They have mountains to climb and summits to reach. So, imagine my surprise when I read 1 Thessalonians 4:11 this morning:

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life..."

I've read this passage many times. I know that because it is highlighted in my Bible and has notes next to it. Yet, this morning, the word ambition caught my attention. The idea of ambition and quiet being part of the same thought seems counterintuitive to me. But, should I really be so caught off guard by this?

Jesus, who I see as the most ambitious man to ever live, made time in quiet His priority. It was His discipline to spend time in quiet with His Father. Sure, we can say, "Hello! He was the perfect Son of God! Of course He prioritized prayer!" And, yes, that is true. But He was also fully human and recognized the need to be refueled by time in quiet with God.

This past Friday, I read the The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper. In their story, I was struck by how important quiet is to them. Joanna, specifically, writes of how God reveals His plans for her in quiet as she journals her thoughts. She is intentional about finding places of quiet and solitude to refresh and listen. It is in those moments that she hears most clearly the voice of God and His plans for her.

I now need to find a way to make this my priority. This verse came from a devotion that I'm reading, Savor, by Shauna Niequist. In today's reading, she offered this advice when considering which requests deserve a yes: "Will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way?" I find that to be very wise. Because, although I have become much better at prioritizing and, even when it's difficult, saying "no," I often times still say yes to too much, removing any possibility for a quiet life.

I find myself with a new definition of ambitious and a new understanding of what it means to lead a full, or should I say fulfilled, life. My soul longs for quiet and to hear from God. My life's desire is to walk the path He has for me. I am thankful for these eye-opening moments which have revealed to me the need to lead a much quieter life.

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