As a millennial I am constantly barraged with articles like “13 things to do before you’re 30” and “25 things to do before you’re 25”. These articles mean no harm but they are harmful. They argue that you can have it all and slow down to enjoy life. That you sure as hell deserve to be successful and wake up whenever you want to.

What a juxtaposition; you have your whole life ahead of you so take your time and enjoy it . . . but you need to accomplish it all immediately…. Befriend those who have already accomplished their goals for advice but do only what you want to do. …Invest in people around you but don’t be afraid to walk all over them to reach your dreams….

This stems from a need to be great the greatest, to prove something to the world. Inherent within us is want of glory.

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And life has become a whirlwind of wanting to do great things but not wanting to get out of bed…

What am I to do? The world tells me one thing, so I turn to my faith for an answer. But my view of ambition within Christ becomes one of defaulted humility. Is this because I hold on to too much? I grasp to many glorious things? Or is it because I have misplaced the glory itself?

Is the answer actually found in only seeking one thing? And in seeking that one thing am I giving God all the glory?

I sit in the middle of my packed and unpacked boxes of books as I prep to move (once again), overwhelmed. It is here that my eyes land on a dog eared, paperback copy of a book I was raised to love.

I am reminded to take a step back and view ambition through the eyes of a very sweet and well loved Velveteen Rabbit.

His greatest ambition was to be real.

Not to be the best or the smartest. Not to have all the knowledge in his field or trek the globe.

Simply and contently real.

Just like the littles whose greatest ambition is to grow up and be a mom, or drive a garbage truck, or be able to walk like dad. He only wanted to be complete, and in his little stuffed heart of hearts he knew that his completeness would be found in being real.

He was embarrassed when the rabbits called to him to play with them, he didn’t know how to explain to them that his hind legs didn’t move on their own and that he could only jump when the boy threw him. He saw his shortcomings and hid them from the other rabbits in the fields.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“It doesn’t happen all at once…” this final glory, the completeness.

(#condensedstory #readityourself #itsbetterinthebook)

There are plenty of things the Velveteen Rabbit taught me, but at the top of that list is this: You become, it takes a long time. You will come out of the end of your journey worn through and through. You will not be loved by most, but you will be loved by the only one who matters anyway. And that is when you will finally be glorious.

So, scrap all that junk about all of the things I need to accomplish in order to be successful. I have ambitions, yes, but in the end all I really want to be is real.

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