By: Staci Stallings
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day via email. My friend was having a tough time with exactly what we’ve been discussing here–namely guilt over not being able to do everything and making mistakes even though he knew better. We were talking about the short-lived moments of achievement or moments that we don’t feel like complete failures that come along just frequently enough to make us think they could be more than temporary. In explaining some of the things I’ve been relating to you, I told him that we expect or hope for our achievements to bring a “forever win.”
A “forever win” would be something that would: bring us peace that didn’t leave, bring happiness that didn’t dim, give us confidence and build our self-esteem so that we would be able to face any challenge or situation.
Because we’re both writers, I used the analogy of getting published with my friend. For writers who have not been published, this is like the Holy Grail. I mean, we build “getting published” up to ginormous proportions. “Getting published” means money will never again be an issue, we will have people begging to read our next book and our editor beating down our door to get our next book into the publisher’s hands. It is a mythical place where everyday cares are simply non-existent, we never hit writer’s block, and the next book will be a bigger hit than the last one.
Unfortunately, “getting published” like so many other illusion-dreams is not a forever win. I know writers who have “gotten published” even more than once who struggle to pay the bills, who kick cabinets because they can’t figure out what happens next in a story that is on deadline tomorrow, who stress out because their agent quit, their editor retired, and no one at the publishing company even seems to know who they are anymore. And those are some of the GOOD outcomes!
Now, I don’t know what your illusion of a “forever win” might be. Maybe it’s finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Maybe it’s getting into your new house, or selling your old one. Maybe it’s getting a new job (or any job). Maybe it’s that windfall money you are hoping to win from the lottery, or getting Jr. off to college… or getting Jr. here in the first place.
Whatever it is, I have found that the thing with illusionary “forever wins” is that we build them up in our heads and our hearts to be the answer to every difficulty we have. Somehow we get to thinking that if I could just get “over there,” then I will be in utopia.
I’ve even heard young girls who became pregnant say that they did so because they just wanted someone to love them. That’s a pretty good description of how deceptive these illusionary “forever wins” can be! Let me tell you, you don’t have a child to love YOU. You have a child to challenge your idea of how much love you can give someone else… sometimes to the breaking point and beyond!
But here’s the thing. There is a way to have a “forever win” that doesn’t disappear two seconds after you get there.
It’s called knowing Jesus Christ, not just as your Savior but as your best friend.
When you give yourself over to having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, you stop focusing so much on those temporal wins that never quite manifest into the forever wins you were hoping for. Suddenly, you see eternal wins in even the smallest of moments here on earth, and you realize them for the “forever wins” they are. You stop focusing so much on the temporary, and when you do that, you start seeing a lot of forever wins–in your life and in the lives of others. Some call them miracles.
It can be no other way… unless you’re focusing on the wrong kind of wins.
So how many “forever wins” do you have going on around you these days?