I don't want to be extraordinarily wealthy. Honestly, I don't. I feel like I don't have the right personality for immense wealth. I don't want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I don't dream of a suburban home that's pinned 1000s of times due to its sheer beauty. I don't want to be a celebrity hairstylist. I don't want to earn the highest degree available to me and gain every academic honor within sight along the way. I don't want a wardrobe that makes others jealous (though having a wardrobe that makes me smile is welcome!). I don't want to visit every country and continent on the globe, and I don't want to write a best-selling novel that is made into a three-part blockbuster movie.
These are all reasonable dreams that many people desire and that some achieve and count among the greatest honors of their life, but I don't think they're for me.
Perhaps you might say I'm not very ambitious. I've been told that a few times. But I'm not sure that I'd completely agree with such a valuation.
I'm ambitious enough to want to live a life outside the ordinary. What I truly want is to love God and because of Him, love people heartily. I want to seek the treasures of heaven and not of earth.
And, honestly, I don't know exactly what that will look like over an entire lifetime. However, I do know that it means daily making the choice to obey God, to love the people in my life and be a blessing to them even (or especially?) when it's very, very hard.
My ultimate goal in life--in everything I do--is to be genuinely, thoroughly, truly missed when I am gone. I've known people who have entered and left this world without seeming to leave any trace at all that they ever lived here. I've also known people whose departure is regularly met with a sigh of relief--and during any kind of absence are not missed whatsoever. It's impossible to live a selfish life and be missed, too. To me, the mark of truly living well is that those who know you best passionately miss your presence in their lives.
You know what I've always liked about George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life? He's not a hero. He's not a perfect man. He's a man with a temper, who has a variety of selfish dreams for his own life. But, in spite of his own dreams and his own plans, every time he has the chance, he makes the harder choice instead of the selfish one that comes easily and naturally. And the scenes from a world without George Bailey prove to him just how much of a mark he made in his world, just how much he would be missed.
So, I've got ambition. I have some hopes and dreams for exciting life changes in 2014. But, in the long run, I truly know what I want out of life. My life mission may not be as clear and precise as a goal to rule the world or to beat the Guinness World Record for hula-hooping the longest or to have a verified Twitter account, but I've got one. I want to live in such a way that you're gonna miss me when I'm gone, and if I accomplish that, I'll be content with the life I've lived.
p.s. Totally Unrelated Funny Story Alert: On New Year's Eve, I went swing/line dancing with my sisters and parents. That's where the picture in this post came from. Angel was working and unable to come. As it happened, a guy I was dancing with asked me out. Wait a minute. Did you hear what I said there? He asked me out on a date. Having never faced such a situation before, I speechlessly gestured to the rings I wear on my left hand and he said, "Oh.....you're married? Where's your husband? Do you have any kids?" Honestly, I think being married is probably the best way to decline an offer of a date, because it's not a rejection so much as a "You're a little late." I thanked him for the offer, though, because he seemed like a sweet kid, though possibly younger than I am. Let this be a lesson henceforward to all nice young men out there...one purpose of the wedding ring is to save you from awkward moments.