I recently had the honor and privilege to meet and interview baseball legend, Darryl Strawberry. He has achieved great fame and success in the sporting world as a four time World Series winner. He is also well known for his various struggles off the mound. Today, he is a champion of encouragement to others and leads a powerful Christian ministry.
During our interview at a men’s conference hosted by my church, he shared how no matter how many games he won, how much fame he achieved, how much money he made, how much professional success he achieved, none of it could quench the thirst and emptiness he harbored deep inside.
Truth be told, many of us can relate to this struggle and the weary search for fulfillment. Although we may never have the heightened platform of a Darryl Strawberry, we do have our own platform, which is just as real, and just as relevant – for it is our story, our life.
Why so many continue to chase after “things” to satisfy is mind boggling – even for Christians who should know better. It’s like a constant nagging that’s hard to escape. We manipulate and poison our thinking to believe our positions, power, possessions, platforms, and prestige are what make us successful in life – and without these things, we aren’t truly relevant. We falsely estimate these things will heal our hurts and keep us safe from rejection, but naturally this never proves true.
These lies are ancient and tell us our self worth is determined by our net worth. Obviously, there is a thread of validity to this. It would be foolish and naive to say the world doesn’t acknowledge fame, money, and power. However, ultimately, these things are mirages. They can’t satisfy beyond a certain extend because they all expire.
We all know what it’s like to have something new and for that “new thrill factor” to eventually wear off, or out. Then it’s off to the next thrill. Chasing another temporary thirst quencher that will never satisfy us long term.
My two books, Highways End and Full Disclosure share in both a fiction novel and nonfiction narrative my own struggles in this area. I write about these things because the struggle is deep and extremely personal.
However, for those who have had the lie and myth that power and success will make you happy shattered, it’s nearly impossible to keep it to ourselves. We discover we have to write about it, talk about it, and do all we can to help others avoid the trap. To share the only true thirst quencher there is – Jesus Christ and His glorious salvation that saves us from spiritual death and dead living.
I believe a “wounded warrior” knows best how to relate to another bruised brother in a unique way, and that a “weary wanderer” knows the desperate plight of a restless heart.
The blessed broken can make the most impactful leaders, because they lead with compassion, sincerity, and sacrifice. They seek to reach beyond themselves to genuinely benefit others. They have seen and experienced the value of dying to self and living for Christ.
May we all be so bold to break free from the falsehoods of material success and reach for something greater – to help others who are broken, beaten, and bruised.
We can all do this in our jobs, hobbies, families, and communities by making it how we live. To be empowered by a living legacy that lasts far beyond the grave and any money, titles, or possessions we may have acquired along the way. It’s the eternal reward of the good and faithful servant of Jesus Christ – for He is where true riches and success reside (John 4:14).