He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. (Ephesians 4:10 WEB)
At one time we lived in an apartment with a loft. It wasn’t really a room but it was large enough to substitute for a library and office. Connected with the master bedroom and bath it made a nice little upstairs get-a-way in our apartment. This came in handy when we had company in our guest room on the first floor. It let us have some semblance of morning privacy until breakfast called.
Sitting up there was like being away from it all. It was a great place to sit, think and come up with lofty thoughts and aspirations. We could develop these aspirations in the thought provoking confines of our small library. It was just a step away from all the comforts of home. It was like sitting in a master’s library composing earth shattering philosophies while the simple people wandered through the stacks below contemplating the common thoughts of life.
I’ve had some lofty aspirations in the past. I was going to be a famous folk song musician. I was going to write the great American novel or at least a fascinating children’s book. At one time I was going to be an astronaut and make amazing discoveries. I’ve been a poet, song writer, theologian, and never thought I’d work with computers or spend most of my life overseas insuring a lifesaving message reached the world.
I’ve often wondered what lofty aspirations the apostles had before they met Jesus. Were there thoughts of being a famous tax broker or building a nationwide fishing industry, or setting up the first health clinic in the Middle East? I just can’t see them growing up with visions of giving up everything to follow a preacher claiming to be God’s son and the nation’s Messiah. Needless to say, I doubt they talked about suffering in life to proclaim a new interpretation of their nation’s religious teaching contrary to established theology.
Whatever their lofty aspirations I’m sure things went a different direction as soon as they met the Savior. Lofty aspirations have a way of being deflated by the reality of earning a living, raising a family or answering a heavenly call. We can wistfully look back and wonder what happened. Or, we can realign our aspirations to discover the loftiness of what we’re doing now. What do we aspire for today! Do we want to be famous, build a fortune or just do nothing? I’m really good at doing nothing when necessary.
My aspirations have changed over the years. I still aspire to fulfill my calling to bring the message of God’s love to the world. I’ve added some new exciting things. I want to build and maintain a great relationship with my wife, children, and grandchildren.
I want to encourage others in their walk with Christ. I want to help build them up, train them to answer God’s call and to walk faithfully. I want to live my life in faithfulness as a redeemed believer that God loved so such I was worth Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I want to finish what I started well.
I figure, as long as my aspirations focus on God, His love, and His grace I’m aspiring for good things. It will all be interesting even if it wasn’t one of my lofty aspirations. God has a way of keeping things interesting. If I’d known some of the places I’d go, or things I’d eat, or situations I’d find myself in, I’d have run for the hills like Jonah and probably ended up in some giant beast’s belly. So I sat in my apartment loft considering my next lofty aspiration.
There’s nothing wrong with making plans or contemplating lofty aspirations as long as, at the end of the day, God is the one who makes the decisions. When we aspire and then place our aspirations in his omnipotent hands we’ll find ourselves in good hands indeed. Aspire to big dreams, then let God make them happen. . . or adjust them slightly.