For most of us, the allure of being at the top of the ladder has been something we could only dream of. A few of us, though we think about how great it may be, resist the idea of being at the top of the heap or in the front of the crowd.
The dream of ‘Having it all’ is something our culture promotes continually. Everywhere we turn we see billboards, magazines, television shows, and the commercials showing the perfect figured young people sipping a glass of fruit drink while dangling their feet from a pool’s edge overlooking the ocean. To that I say, ‘Yeah, whatever…’
Reality can be quite a slap in the face with our daily rituals of being to work on time, fighting traffic, stressing over nearly every part of our day, and then finding time to just relax when we get home. It’s about enough to make us all wish for that top place. Yet, for the few who do attain it, though they may say it’s wonderful, often regret their now vaulted position having missed out on many of life’s simpler pleasures.
It’s no surprise that many today who can’t take that vacation to the luxury hotel by the beach look for a place where they can just get away from it all for a while. If being at the top isn’t available, the next best thing is to sit outside and leave everything behind.
How we approach the aspiration to be ‘Top Dog’ is often a part of our personality makeup. Being a mixture of Types A, B, and D, the three sides of me often compete with each other between drive, social aspirations, and the security of a set routine. Personality wise, to put it bluntly, I’m a mutt, for which, I’m glad. I wouldn’t want to be too much of any trait.
Learning who we are and how we’re built will help us to set realistic expectations of ourselves in life. Part of us may want to be at the top (Type A) but the part of us that likes order (Type D) may be too strong to allow us to take chances. Or, the part of us that is fearful of social settings (Type C) may keep us from the hidden desire to be the social king (or queen) that our other side (Type B) would love to be.
Mostly, knowing how God created us is essential to finding the right path in our life; knowing why we have the desires we have for success and what our natural gifts are, will allow us to have attainable goals. The person He made us to be probably won’t be the person at the top of the heap. In fact, it may be the person who helps others to get there before we do ourselves. Which, in His eyes, would be considered greatness.
So, the next time you feel the need to be at ‘The Top’ or to just get away from it all instead, remember that you’re created for a purpose. That purpose may be the opposite of what the world says you should be; and that’s ok. If you don’t do anything else with your life other than learning what, and who, God made you to be, what His plan is for your life, and then acting on it, you can consider yourself a huge success. And that, you can bank on because, like my old university president used to tell us, ‘God makes no small plans’. When we tap into His plans and purposes with a humble, realistic view of ourselves then ‘The Top’ doesn’t seem as great as the life He already has planned out for us…