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Editor’s journey

Graveyard of ambition

PHOENIX — Christmas night I had an unusual dream: I found myself walking through a graveyard filled with gravestones. So I asked the Lord, “Where am I? What is this place?”

He replied, “This is the ‘graveyard of ambition,’ honoring servants who have died to self. These are people who surrendered their ambitions to follow the leading of My Spirit.”

Reading the gravestones, I recognized a few of the names — including my deceased father’s — but mine wasn’t among them.

“Lord, what do I need to do to become one of these servants like my dad?” I asked.

“Give more of your attention to becoming like Me and be less concerned with all you’re trying to achieve for Me,” He said. “Trust Me to guide your every step.”

Later that morning I opened my Bible to Luke 12:48, which has served as marching orders for believers driven by big dreams and aspirations: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (NIV).

Many believers view Luke 12:48 as a mandate for personal achievement when, more than that, it is a call to obedience and reliance on God. It refers to the depth of one’s devotion rather than the quantity of one’s deeds. Nonetheless, many believers have given priority to their ambitions at the expense of their intimacy with Christ. They don’t fully understand that Christ is more concerned with the condition of their heart than He is their position in the world.

I awakened from my dream realizing that the “graveyard of ambition” is reserved for those who put following Christ above their quest for rank, riches and resumes of achievement. My eyes filled with tears Christmas night because it was apparent I had more dying to do … and I knew I needed to pray more and work less in 2003.

First Thessalonians 4:9,10 says, “God himself is teaching you to love each other, and you are already extending your love to all the Macedonians. Yet we urge you to have more and more of this love, and to make it your ambition to have no ambition!” (New Testament in Modern English, J.B. Phillips).

— Hal Donaldson

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