I was living the dream?
Ten years ago, I was a marketing executive in the largest beverage company in the world. I traveled the country, drove a company car and lived in a townhouse tucked in the historic area of small town. The money gave me upward mobility, but I wasn’t happy. Being a single black man thriving in Corporate America; society had no sympathy for my unhappiness. I had it made, right?
I wanted to be creative on my own terms, without a brand team or sales goals. My church attendance was sporadic at best. I tried to fill that void with gadgets, travel and people; while justifying it with long distance relationships, work stress and trying to maintain the perception that I was living the dream.
Five years, ago, I was a contractor/consultant at the largest tech company in the US. I toggled between telecommuting and going into the office. There was no company car — I caught the bus to work. I made a decent living, but now I was married and trying to lead a blended family of children and in-laws. I was broken and still didn’t feel connected. It was another flavor of unhappiness. Being a married black man with a wife and kids, living and working in a major city; those struggling had no sympathy for my unhappiness. I had a great family on the outside, right?
I had found creativity on my own terms, and it lead me to the upper echelon of music, writing and technology. This bred resentment in my most intimate relationships. My church attendance was a tad more consistent, but lateral in dedication. I tried to fill that void with podcasts, paintings, music production schedules and HTML designs — while accepting emotional isolation and solitude. From the outside vantage point, all you saw were aesthetically appealing smiles shielding massive spiritual hemorrhaging while apparently living the dream.
Now I work in full-time ministry. Every assignment in my professional career has prepared me to give my time, talents and treasures back to Him. And it was done in such a way that I know it couldn’t have been anyone but God who ordered my steps. I’m blessed to have a home, vehicles, healthy children and a growing small business. More importantly, I have found a joy in the LORD that alluded me for so long. He loves me no matter what. I’m just a divorced, black man with children and a heart for God – living in a mid-sized city with a gargantuan purpose.
Dreams that aren’t aligned with God’s purpose are nightmares; even when they appear euphoric. I know what it’s like to live the materialistic dream and feel spiritually hollow. I’ve experienced the life of creative dreams while my soul stood in the distant background from my purpose. I no longer want to live the dream that doesn’t keep me connected to the One who saved my life – because I could’ve died in the midst of those dreams. Now, I stay woke and live on purpose. His purpose. I don’t want to live the dream, I need to live according to His purpose.