One day, when I have my dream job, I will… One day, when I am married and have kids… And one day, I have my own ministry…
How often do we hear ourselves and others say these words? In my experience, regardless of faith, everyone has said something along this line. Whether it be a job, a relationship, a ministry, or anything else. We have all fallen into a fatal trap at some point or another. We fall into this trap with the best of intentions – yet, we slowly begin to mentally shift our hope into an unhealthy area. And we start to think that stuff, a job, or a relationship will bring us happiness and fullness within a God-sized void in our hearts.
It’s easy to fall into, it really is.
As an engineering student, I experience this within myself all of the time. As any engineer will (gladly) tell you, engineering school is a walk in the park… a walk in central park, at 3 AM, wearing a big old Rolex. Engineering school is notoriously difficult, and often times (with good intentions), I give myself reprieve by putting my hope in things other than God. “If I just get through this, I’ll have the career I want. With that career, I can buy the car and home I’ve always wanted.”
How foolish is that?
I think deep down, in my heart, I am promising myself future happiness with a material object or a financial status. Yet, the thing is, that new car smell wears off. The second I drive off the lot in a brand new Mustang GT350, somebody with a nicer and faster car will drive past me – and I will need a nicer car. Chasing status and material possessions always ends that way.
See, the problem is that slowly and subtly, my heart shifts its’ hope from God into superfluous things… or yet worse, my own righteousness. None of that will ever give me happiness or contentment. The only genuine happiness and fulfillment can come from God. Within our own hearts is a void, because deep down in the depths of our soul, we long to be back in heaven with our creator. When we are in unity with our creator, we become fulfilled, and we never feel like we need anything. The world will tell us that we need to get married, make money, get a brand new car, get a brand new house – and then we will be fulfilled. People who rely on those things are never happy.
The only way to find true happiness and true contentment in this life is by placing your hope in Jesus.
Dream jobs, nice things, and marriage are certainly blessings from God – the bible says that. With those things comes a responsibility, a duty, to never stare at those things, taking our eyes off of God. Rather than viewing my dream job as a status or financial means to happiness, it is imperative that I view my dream job as a way for God to work through me, to bless others. It is imperative that I view financial blessings as a way for God to use me to bless others. To bless the homeless, to bless children in the inner city, and even to bless other Christians.