by Emily Conrad
The intention is never to raise something on a pedestal, but working toward or loving something for years tends to prop it up a little higher and a little higher.
Take a desire to write novels, for example. That can be a wonderful calling, but it takes a long time to accomplish. And over that time, a dream like that can slowly, gradually, gain unhealthy status in a writer’s heart. I would know.
Whether for you it’s writing or something else, often we don’t realize we’ve been standing in this thing’s shadow until that pedestal starts to wobble. Or worse, the whole thing tumbles down.
And then, we grieve and struggle. Without that shadow covering us, we squint and try to adjust. What do we do now? What went wrong? How do we move forward?
The transition is difficult because when we put earthly things on pedestals, we focus on them and lose Jesus’ perspective. We block the fullness of his light in our lives.
Knowing this from experience, I’ll ask you: What might be on a pedestal in your life? What if it fell apart today? What if it took a painful turn?
No, really. What if it did?
Step out from that shadow, friend.
We do this by recognizing our lives are about the everlasting God and his glory, and that it’s possible such a God has something entirely different for us than what we envision. It is possible that our earthly dreams will be deferred, as Hebrews 11:13-16 emphasizes:
These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth. For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (NET)
Yes, God has given us our dreams and talents to use them. He has a glorious plan for each life, and we are each uniquely gifted to fulfill our purpose. He will ensure that we have what we need to serve him. But he is to be lifted up, not the gifts he gives. When we focus on Jesus, he gives us not a single little pedestal but an entire city, a homeland.
And next to this beautiful eternity with him and the relationship he invites us to, pedestal-toppers are nothing. When earthly hopes topple, we have eternal hope. In times of discouragement, we are called to draw close once again to Jesus in all of his marvelous splendor and light, to hope not in what will happen in this life, but in the next. Joy is set before us.