I Don’t Want to Succeed
By Jessica Everingham
I am pouring everything I’ve got into my writing career. I eat, breathe and sleep words. Between novel manuscripts, articles and blogging, this unpaid job is taking up my spare time, creativity, energy and money.
But I don’t want to succeed.
I think Isaiah explains it pretty well.
“Why spend money on what is not bread,
And your labour on what does not satisfy?
Isaiah 55:2a NIV
I don’t just want a successful writing career, because I know that ‘bread’ is going be about as filling as smoke if I eat it. Believe me, I know. I’ve tasted the bitter tang before. I feel that emptiness, that sense of never being satisfied, every time I let my eyes get pulled away from Jesus.
And I’m not the only one. King Solomon had desire - and the means - to try whatever he wanted on earth. So he did. And this is what he said:
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure…
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
And what I had toiled to achieve,
Everything was meaningless.”
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NIV
Based on Solomon’s life, I have to question why anybody would want a successful career, the spouse of their dreams or financial security if it comes at a cost to God’s #1 place in your life. Because without Him, everything is meaningless.
It’s not that I wouldn’t like to sell millions of books. I want to, I assure you.
But that’s not my end goal. It is not my purpose. Far from it.
God created me and saved me; my entire existence is dependant on and thanks to God. When I remember that, I wonder at how I can ever let my passion for writing distract me from the One who loves my soul like no one else can.
“Listen, listen to me and eat what is good,
And your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
Hear me, that your soul may live.”
Isaiah 55:2b-3a NIV
I may never sell a book. I may never fall in love. I may never do all the things I have dreamed of doing. It’s a terrifying thought.
But I have the ‘richest of fare’. My soul will live. My soul will thrive.
So if success pulls me away from the One who made me, loves me and has His own purposes for me, I don’t want it.
I have something better.
Jessica Everingham is a journalist, blogger, youth leader, boarding school mistress and aspiring author. She is passionate about writing articles, short stories and novels that peel back our subconscious attitudes and reveal God’s truth. She is busy editing the manuscript of her first novel, Open Your Eyes, and is beginning work on her second book. Follow her on Twitter (@JessEveringham), Facebook (www.facebook.com/jessicaeveringhamwriting) or subscribe to her blog (www.consumedbyhimblog.wordpress.com).