My new measure for value of anything is directly related to how much it is opposed. For example....
- Sit in front of the TV watching a 3 hour game....easy. Walk across the house to engage my teenage daughter in a relevant conversation...hard.
- Meet a friend for lunch and talk about the NCAA tournament, his business, or politics...easy. Ask him how his marriage, his walk with Jesus, or his struggling college son is doing...hard.
- Asking my wife what she did that day...easy. Ask her how she is feeling about her life...terrifying.
- Cutting a check for a ministry need I heard about...easy. Going to the third world to live their life and serve on a mission trip...hard.
- Talking to a Christian friend about the pastor's sermon...easy. Talking to someone I don't know about the life change possible...nearly impossible.
I sat in what some would consider a very large chair in the halls of corporate American. There were lots of zeroes attached to the work and it mattered a lot in the overall scheme of things, but it was very easy...required very little of me. I left to manage a company whose annual earnings are 1/1000 of the size of the investable assets I managed...it is incredibly hard and challenging.
The first was a J-O-B and the second is a cautious inch into significance. While it may appear to be a step back or a step down, it is exactly the opposite. It is stepping up in the larger story of God to take an assignment that He uniquely created me and called me to. It has been terrifying at times, but more rewarding than I could have possibly managed.
Every step has been a progression in a long journey....a measured segment in a Mapquest multi-city trip. From the couch to the arena to the colosseum floor. From unknown to probable to very, very real. A man gets asked in "Fight Club"..."Is that your blood?" Answer? "Yeah, some of it.". It can feel painful and costly at times, but mostly glorious and intended. So what if you get wounded and bloodied...lose a few pints...there is plenty more where that came from.
Even in life, the desperate quest for significance is opposed. My wife and I plan some time downtown to reconnect and remember. I have grand plans for updating our long-term vision for our family, to have a romantic dinner, and twist the sheets up...result?...disaster. It was DOA...not really prayed up, but exhaustively thought through...full of the unreasonable expectation and the hope of decades. It will be much harder to mount an initiative toward another one of those, but it will happen. Again, I am bloodied, but unbowed. I will, because though it is opposed, it is worth it. As comfortable as it is from the couch or a seat up high in the colosseum, the arena floor is extraordinary.