The 29th of July 2017 was the first day of my transition after I had decided to lay down the corporate career I had idolized for 12 years. I called the journey ‘My transition from being driven to succeed to being called to a life of significance’. At the beginning of my journey I understood the difference between success and significance to be as follows; success is all about getting, in my case – the recognition, the promotion/s and all the fun toys and activities that come with it and significance is simply making a contribution i.e. giving of oneself.
I have made a plethora of mistakes in my life and though I’m not done making mistakes, I am very grateful I have discovered my biggest one. My journey of transition was something I had never done before – in all honesty I thought I was just taking a 6 month sabbatical- so I knew I needed God’s presence and wisdom during that time. I’m very big on personal development – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically so I always strive to learn new knowledge and skills. After having kept the same 12 hour work day routine for the last 12 years, I definitely needed a new routine for my sabbatical. I structured my new routine around the Rivers Church Discipleship College on Tuesday evenings where I registered for 2 courses; The Wisdom Books of the Bible and Growing Big People. These courses covered my Tuesdays for the months of August and September. By the end of 2017 I had read through the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. My Tuesday and Thursday mornings were spent at the Rivers Foundation where I was volunteering for the school feeding scheme and helped to prepare and deliver sandwiches to the various schools supported by the foundation. Due to my flexible time schedule, I also volunteered for other initiatives at the foundation- Christmas parties for under privileged preschools and providing meals at an old age home in Alex, Johannesburg. In August I picked up the habit of going to gym again – my last visit to gym was in March 2017 . I had picked up weight since then and I was sitting at a comfortable 112.5kg. By the end of December 2017 I had lost 3kgs (as I write this blog in December 2019, I now weigh 91.4kg). Being at home meant I spent more time with our sons – playing with them after school, attending their swimming lessons and other activities I couldn’t do as much before my sabbatical. Being on a sabbatical meant that I was able to be a lot more attentive and supportive to my wife. A great thorn in her life at the time was her stressful corporate job and the only way I could help was by asking her to join me on the sabbatical so that we could figure out our lives together. I felt very strongly that this was a journey we needed to do together so on the 29th of December 2017, my wife began her sabbatical and we were in it together. I had some conventional fun too during my last 6 months of 2017 and the highlight was my first visit to Anfield in October where my beloved Liverpool were playing the Mancs and the beauty of it is that I did the trip with my best man who is a Manc.
My biggest mistake was having an idol on God’s altar instead of having God firmly placed on his altar in my life. In my case the idol was my career. My identity was anchored in my career. My decision to do a particular activity or spending time with someone was determined by how much time and energy I would have left to devote to the development of my career. As a result my relationships suffered. In essence, I was worshiping money and the reality is that what we worship reflects who we serve.
It’s now December 2019 and I have discovered in my season of transition (especially in the last 7 months) that my life is significant because of God and that God is at the center of my life – my heart, soul & mind. As a result, everything else in my life has fallen into its rightful place. God is the one who makes life significant. Human beings are created in his image and likeness. Jesus Christ’s life, death on the cross and his resurrection is the way to restoring his image and likeness in us. Believing what God says about Jesus Christ changed my mind about God and now I truly seek to live a life that is pleasing to him. By God’s love and grace, Holy Spirit is transforming me that I may test and approve what God’s good, pleasing and perfect will is.
What is the idol you have placed on God’s altar? Do you realize that your idol is robbing you from truly knowing who God is? When you don’t know God, how can you ever find the purpose for which he created you for?