"But true growth is something other than the uncontrolled drive for upward mobility in which making it to the top becomes its own goal and in which ambition no longer serves a wider ideal. There is a profound difference between the false ambition for power and the true ambition to love and serve. It is the difference between trying to raise ourselves up and trying to lift up our fellow human beings." -Henri Nouwen, The Selfless Way of Christ
I have been pondering this quote lately and this current of "upward mobility" that we often find ourselves swimming against upstream. Every day we live with this underlining expectation to be better, stronger, faster individuals. At night we fall into our beds exhausted and overworked, feeling like there are not nearly enough minutes in each day to accomplish what "needs" to be done. At what point did we find ourselves tangled up in this pain, plunging head first into a spiritual death?
The month of November brings a time of beautiful color, as red, yellow, and orange, leaves pepper the ground and fill the skylines. It is time of thanksgiving and blessing before the winter strips the earth bare with its cold hand. It is in this month that we should be looking around with reverence and appreciation. I encourage everyone to remember what Nouwen speaks of and to try and cast off this ingrained need to climb the ladder of life with no real thought as to the purpose. Use this month to reach out, to love, to listen. This unique kind of intentionality will bring rewards of the truest nature.