I remember how we argued, standing awkwardly next to the table. My attempt at a joke to lighten the mood fell flat, and I’m pretty sure you stepped on my forced levity with your foot and ground it into the linoleum for good measure. I deserved it. I hadn’t meant to bait you; I just wanted to challenge your resolute commitment to your carefully planned future.
“Sometimes plans don’t pan out,” I offered. Mine certainly hadn’t. But maybe that’s because I didn’t have what it took to make them happen like you actually did. I’d never really been a goal setter anyway. Life happens; I react. That’s the extent of my life’s to-do list. We could not be more different in that regard.
But I knew I’d unknowingly stepped into something serious, and I thought about our talk for weeks afterward. What if all the things we work for—good things, amazing things, admirable things, God-honoring things—don’t come to fruition? What if the events of life preclude us from meeting our goals? Will it be enough to just be faithful with what’s in directly in front of us?
Or, what if everything goes exactly as we dared to hoped? Is that how we measure success?
I pictured myself stacking together all the unspoken dreams of my heart. Maybe my tower wasn’t Babel-high but high enough for the Lord intervene and scatter when I lost sight of my purpose on this earth. To know Him and to make Him known—that’s what all this planning and striving and working should be about. It’s why He gives us gifts.
But the truth is, if all the things I hope to do in my life come crumbling down around me, it won’t matter that much if I know that Christ is my treasure. He will sustain me, and He will be enough. Sometimes the scattering of well-intentioned dreams is a gracious intervention if we survey the detritus of an organized future and realize that Jesus is all we can be certain of.
But what if every dream comes true and I achieve the status my heart secretly longs for? It won’t matter a bit if I know that Christ is not my treasure. It’s all vanity if He is not the captor of my heart, if He is not the one guiding this ship.
I thought I was writing this song about you, but it turns out that every day this song is about me. Every day I have to look at what I’m building. Is it His kingdom or mine?Every day I have to look at what I’m building. Is it His kingdom or mine? Click To Tweet
Here is the anthem that rings true with every endeavor to work, to create art, to write, to sing, to serve, to love: Christ matters more. If He is not my treasure, it is all rubble and chaff.
I apologized to you after our argument, but really I should have thanked you for challenging me to think deeply about what I treasure the most when it comes to how I spend my days. All of my accomplishments are vanities when weighed against what Christ as done for me.
Here are a couple clips of my husband and I performing “Meaningless” live at my album release show April 28, 2017. Video cred: Hannah Svebakken