People are intrigued by the red carpet and camera flashes of Hollywood and by the big lights of New York City – and other prominent cities. Where we live is a personal preference, and each of us is entitled to make our own choices. Many people move for all the wrong reasons; however, sacrificing everything in their lives in an attempt to find success, esteem and happiness.
I did that too! As a teenager, I always wanted to live in the big city. I dreamed of living in a community where the people held prominence.
Living My Dream
My opportunity to live my dream finally came one day, or so I thought. Several weeks after I graduated high school, I purchased a train ticket to Englewood, New Jersey to live with an older brother and be a part of his music group. It was an incredible experience because it was only minutes away from New York City. I had the distinct opportunity to spend time with people who had achieved significant career and music success on the highest level. I loved it there! In the eyes of my family and friends, I was a high achiever because I was able to establish myself musically in New Jersey.
Nobody To Blame
As life went on, and things began to change, I started to realize that the success I was searching for could not be found in a place, or in its people. It was all a lie… the light bulb finally came on, and I understood perfectly that I had mentally deceived myself. The city was great! But, everything I thought it would be, only turned out to be a false impression of truth. Who was I to blame? I had a pleasant childhood – and even better parenting, so I couldn’t blame it on that. I couldn’t blame it on the TV shows I watched growing up that helped paint those pictures in my mind. I couldn’t blame the people I became attached to in the city, and I couldn’t blame the place where I lived… it was all my decision.
What I failed to see through my rosy dreams of living back and forth in the city for nearly 6 years, and what many people fail to see, is this; it’s just not acceptable to choose anything – people, places, things or success – before preferring a spiritual relationship with God.
I share this story because; I want people to search deeper to determine what their own meaning of happiness is. I read numerous articles about the “rich and famous” who’ve earned enormous amounts of money, and how they encourage people not to abandon the rat race, but to more enthusiastically work in it. They, without realizing it, convince people that they will only have success if they follow a particular routine or specific technique, or live in a certain area where they can be noticed. Just like those gurus who aim for millions of dollars, ordinary people mostly spend their lives being slaves of money. And the saddest part of it all; God is not included in their plans.
So here we are… living in what many say is the most developed country in the world – and I certainly agree! We work extremely hard to earn as much money as possible, and in return, we have to pay higher than normal gas and food prices, while our utility costs creep higher by the minute. Daily, we are entertained by the latest technology – which makes us neglect our personal relationships; then, at each day’s end, we rest by watching TV. Wow, what an extraordinary return for our hard work. Life essentially becomes a blur of “busyness” and activities.
Life has its challenges, without any doubt. But if we look to God for strength, patience and wisdom to deal with those challenges, we will find joy, thanksgiving, and fulfillment in our work.
Decide For Yourself
Please be careful in your decision-making! Think outside the box. God has a much better method of success for us – both spiritually and naturally. We may not always notice His grace, His love and His protection…but, they exhibit themselves in our lives daily. Therefore, the investment we put in our stock of faith, is security both now and for the future, no matter where we decide to live or relocate.
Continue to follow your dreams, but have a plan in place for how they will become reality. Life is intended to be lived for enjoyment and not for the endless race to nowhere. When all is said or done, the only way to have real success is by first searching for spiritual success and a wholesome relationship with God.