Monday, March 08, 2010

Security to Significance

Yesterday, I had a wonderful lunch with an old high school buddy. Let me start off by saying I have really not kept up with any of my high school friends. He was in town and we met up to enjoy some Loco Mocos and a walking tour of the old campus.

I confess I was a bit nervous about our one-on-one reunion after 25 years had passed. People can change a lot in 25 years! Fortunately, my fears were for nothing as we easily struck up our conversation and didn't stop laughing and sharing for 3 hours!

He caught me up with his life and the lives of many of my high school friends.

It got me thinking.

I heard somewhere that for men, their adult lives are often split into two phases: The Search for Security and The Search for Significance. After my meeting, the waters of my soul became muddied and disturbed. The "significance" questions kept floating to the top of my mind.

Another friend is living his dream, piloting choppers for 3 tours in Afghanistan while his photos appear worldwide via the Reuters news service. My visiting friend has lived all over the world, built several homes and does significant security work for large corporations and the military.

I can't help but wonder about my life. Now don't get me wrong, I don't covet THEIR life. That's not me, and in fact, I am so very proud of the successes of my friends. However, I have to ask myself, am I doing the most that I can with my Time, Treasures and Talent? Am I being lazy or settling for less than my potential? Will my life matter?

Now I know these are classic mid-life crisis questions! I think the crisis happens when we as men transition from giving attention to questions about our financial security, over to questions about the significance of our lives and the self evaluation that results from that.

I want to make a difference. I want so much more for my family, my kids and my own experience of life! I want to value people and relationships more than I have. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem in the lives of people. I'm tired of letting negativity, sarcasm, or a bad attitude get a grip on my tongue. I want an experience of life that is deeper, "real"er, and more honest, a character that values other people as more important than myself.

Yet, I know that today, the toughest decision I'll probably make is what kind of hot sauce to have with my burrito. The contrast of the lofty and the mundane in my life is stark.

That's what is on my mind today, and I just had to get that out.

Wishing everybody
Peace, Love and Significance,


1 comment:

Sandy Fewell said...

First of all, Rich, you are such a beautiful writer. You should try to do something professionally with your gift!
Secondly, all of us struggle with the significance issue in life as we approach the middle of our lives. I just had to reply that you are in the midst of the most significant part of your life at this very moment. You are raising two very wonderful boys who are being molded by you and Em to become valuable members of society. There is no greater joy to a parent than to see their child at the mid-stage of their lives becoming wise and a caring, compassionate member of society. As your mother, I am so proud of the person you have become! To instill the character of Christ into your boys is the most significant act in life you as a parent can ever accomplish.

Your friend has accomplished many things in the eyes of the world possibly---but how does he match up to God's expectations of him as His creation?

We all have hopes and dreams. I pray God will grant you all of your hopes and dreams in time, but I think at the end of your life you will be more proud of what you accomplished in raising your children to be good men and good fathers themselves.

I truly am so proud of you! I love you with all my heart, and I can certainly thank God for the son He allowed me to raise to be the man He is today. Your Mom