The Royal Wedding – a fault line of brokenness

The pageantry, eloquence, historical backdrop and exquisite nature of the British people all lent itself to the wonder of the Royal wedding today! (thank God for PVR)….A king in the making because of to whom he was born and his birth order. Prince William didn’t earn his place and success in society he was born into it….and yet….

The fault line of brokenness runs through the middle of every strata in life.

We all hope for success in life. How we define success is varied but the hope of a life worth living is nestled deep inside every human heart. None of us enjoy feeling purposeless, relational strain, uncertain of God’s affirmation or devalued for who we are and what we can give to the world around us. We are born anticipating a journey to become fully alive and somehow we know it. Otherwise disappointment and loss would be without hook.

After nearly 4 decades at this thing called life I have been surprised by some things… many things actually. One of those surprises is that “cream does NOT rise to the top”. I had assumed the most gifted, the most powerful, the most influential, the most intelligent and most anointed people by societal standards, were the most successful. I have been surprised to discover that brokenness runs through every strata in life. It is a fault line all are lives are built upon. Whether rich or poor, multi – gifted or just gifted, color or colorless, birthright or hard work the fault line sits under all our lives… waiting.

We might take that idea further and realize it can be the gifted brokenness that enables cream to rise. In other words SOME people at the “top” of life (relational, position, influence, spirituality, etc) have managed to leverage their brokenness to propel upwards. Yet what you come to realize is that the fault line of brokenness is still inescapable at the top. I unconsciously believed success assumed one had overcome their brokenness. Yet getting to the “top” or pinnacle doesn’t mean one has harnessed, managed or even overcome their brokenness. Brokennes goes with us and may even be illuminated when more light is put on it. There is no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. Only the illusion we have made it… though I did see a Leprechaun in the woods once.

What is my point here? Glad you asked… My point is not about the “top” actually. Not about birthright or personal achievement.

I am referring to the top to get us to look inside. Most of us peer upwards to the success (however we define it) we long for with a tinge of envy or hope or an unhealthy respect for those further up. Somehow hoping to live our lives to get there.. wherever there is for us on the question of success… In spiritual terms it is doing enough for God or making sure we surrendered all he asked of us…

However, my invitation is a call to contentment and away from striving.

What I admire and am afraid of at the same time I see reflected in my father –in – law, Maryanne’s dad. He is 81 and I have known him for over 25 years. I am undone at times by the level of contentment from which he lives life. Everything he receives is a gift. No entitlement exists with the borders of his mind and heart. Gratitude, for anything good that comes his way, seeps out of him. He has had his share of heartache in life.

Yet he is content.

He doesn’t strive for his value, his place or his being. He knows he is loved and I know that because of how he loves those around him unconditionally. He would see his life as extremely successful but he is not at the top of any ladder, accept the ladder of the heart of his kids and wife of 54 years. As a result of an accident he re-trained as an elementary school janitor and gratefully did that for close to 40 years – out lasting a half a dozen Principles.

Success is more about contentment in life than reaching a destination. While the pageantry of Royalty calls us to more…success in life is more of an internal one. Walking through our insecurities towards a greater knowing that we are loved, that we belong and are valued is the journey that points us to true success…

Once we find that place, I believe we will hear the Father’s words of “Well done!” deep in our hearts

Todd Rutkowski

~ by blueporch on April 29, 2011.

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