Success and failure: two ways we get to God

Hi friends,

As I observe the stories of my friends, I see two pathways that often lead to God.

The first is the path of success.

We get to the top: status, wealth, power, attractiveness. But once we reach the apex, it still feels empty.

We might attempt to numb the pain for a while: alcohol, food, travel, entertainment.

But at some point, we realize: I’ve had everything this world offers, and I’m still unsatisfied.

This can be a turning point where we look to God.

The second is the path of failure.

We struggle to make life work. Our friends are unreliable, our debts never go away, we feel like a cog in a machine, and we’re not particularly attractive.

We try to fix our problems: self-help books, coaching, education, exercise, or the lottery.

They help a little bit, but none of them are enough to vault us past our circumstances. Unless lightning strikes, we’ll always be ordinary people struggling to make much of our lives.

But at some point, we realize despair is not my only choice.

This can be a turning point where we look to God.

The point is that God can orchestrate our lives - whether in success or struggle - to get our attention.

As we learn to recognize God’s hand guiding us through the twists and turns of our life, we start to appreciate how God custom-designed our story to draw us closer to Him.

Here are some potential next steps to turn this insight into action:

  • Take time to reflect on the milestones of your spiritual journey. When were the critical turning points? What was God orchestrating?

  • Open up about your story with others who are struggling to make sense of their own ups and downs. Your vulnerability can help them see God’s presence.

  • Prayerfully look for signs of God custom-designing experiences in loved ones’ lives. How might God be trying to get their attention?

How do you evaluate this idea? What helps you put it into practice?

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