The culture we live in causes us to think about life in certain ways. It is our worldview. It is easy to focus on the so-called successes in life. To some, success is getting married in your twenties, having three children that are healthy, of average intelligence, and perhaps good at sports, landing a job that is close to six figures by the time you are in your 30's with the goal of retiring early with a solid pension. That is what is often construed as success today. That is even the way many Christians view success.
But what if life does not happen that way? Are you not successful?
What if your story is different? Maybe you are not married by 30. Maybe you were, but now you are a widow or widower. Maybe you have children, but perhaps they had a difficult start or continue to have special needs. Maybe you are unable to have your own child. Maybe you have not found a job that seems to work. Perhaps you have worked in several areas where the Lord has directed, but they have not been places in which you could stay. Maybe your family thought you should have a secular job but you are in ministry. Or perhaps your family pushed you toward ministry, but you knew that your talents led in a different direction. Are you successful even when your life does not fit what others call success?
It is not easy to be different. Sometimes people will judge you for the different life that you have led. Some might suggest that you were never in God's will in the past because things did not work out as planned or that your problems are a sign of judgment from God. Judgments like this could be hurtful, but they are not founded in truth. Although we can make poor choices, whatever happens is God's will. Our choices impact our lives to be sure, and God's moral will must be followed by us obeying His Word, but what happens in our lives is always His will. He is sovereign. His plan was written before our birth. We can never comprehend how that works.
How should we handle our lives when the way we live is different than others? We should handle life like anyone else really should be handling it. Micah 6:8 says it well, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Whoever we are, wherever our journey takes us, we should humbly walk with God realizing that it is not about whether our journey has many stops or one long road. It is not about whether others look at our journey and admire the appearance of it. It is not about whether our journey ends with our bank accounts full. In the end of our journey none of that will matter. What matters is how we have handled our journey whether in good times or bad and where we will be when our journey ends.