«Success Panic» passed the threshold of my door when I was 44.
It hit me with a blunt object: My slavish devotion to the art of the deal and the thrill of the kill.
Like most thrills, the excitement of making money was beginning to wear off.
I had begun to ask myself, «How much is enough?»
At some point in every man’s life we wonder, is this all there is?
What disturbed me was that I didn’t have the answer.
I had the big house, the Jaguar; I really did have it all, including my faith. I was active in church. Unlike many of my successful peers, I also had a great marriage and no skeletons locked away in a closet.
So why was I in such turmoil? In my hour of need, grace led me to an atheist.
Mike is a strategic planning consultant.
He is brilliant, intuitive, demanding. He does not believe in God, but I can testify that God worked unmistakably through him.
I went to Mike because I wanted him to draw up a strategic plan for my life.
I had tons of questions: What should I do with my life? Where should I invest my time, talents, and treasures?
In this blizzard of wonderment, Mike asked a simple question: «What’s in the box?»
I didn’t have a clue as to what he was getting at and asked him to fill me in.
«I have been listening to you for a couple of hours;» he said, «trying to figure out what’s in your box.
It’s either money or Jesus Christ, but I can’t tell you the strategic planning implications unless you can tell me which one it is?»
After a few minutes, I answered, «Well, if it has to one or the other, I’ll put Jesus Christ in the box?»
It was an act of faith, it was my answer to the question.
Like many men, my belief in God was in the background while I pursued my career.
I’m convinced many men are afraid to put Jesus in the box because they fear where it will lead.
Ironically, once God got me to surrender, He set me on a path very similar to the one I already was on. Jesus said He came so we might have abundant life, life to the fullest.
Most of us miss out on that because we think religion is restricting.
But giving God total freedom to use me in any way He wishes is leading me to a larger life, not a small and narrow one.
There is nothing magical about Mike’s exercise.
But it was a tool God used to get my attention.
I can’t tell you what to put in your box, but sooner or later you will choose.
Your life will race toward the thing that is most important to you.
Don’t wait for disaster; listen to that still small voice and do some honest soul-searching.
What is in your box?