Contentment in a Driven World

In a culture that emphasizes achievement and success, seeking the approval of others can be an endless and exhausting pursuit. Erin Fonner reflects on how true contentment and fulfillment come from being connected to the source of life.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. Can you relate to Erin's self-identification as an "achiever"?
  2. Do you ever feel that you need to do something of value to be a person of value?

So my whole life, I've been an achiever, and I don't really know, uh, exactly why, but somewhere along the line, I picked up on this message. I, I bought into this, this message— I guess maybe from my culture— that if you achieve certain things, then life will be good. And so I honestly had this sense that I had to do something of value in order to be someone of value. It just seems like if you ever think that purpose is a destination, you're gonna end up with a mid-life crisis because you never get there. At least that's been my experience and, and I've seen other people go through that— that that lifestyle is just exhausting. It's just exhausting, and you just work and you work and you work and you work and you work, and your whole joy is wrapped up in what others say about you. The Bible says a lot about, um, purpose, and, and a, a lot of that is found in, in Jesus and in a relationship with God. You know, the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. For me, that's my purpose, but I can't just do that on my own, like, I have to be connected to the source. Like, Jesus talks about— he uses the analogy of a vine and branches, and he says, "apart from me, you can do nothing. If you are a branch broken off from the vine, if you're broken off from the source, you wither away. You have to be connected." And for me, my purpose is found in that connection. My purpose is, is in this very moment being connected to the source— to the source of life. Because if I try to go off and achieve, to fill up my little, you know, insecurities in some wonderful accolades or some wonderful compliments that I get from somebody I mean, that— that's, that's stupid. That's a waste of time. But if I can stay connected to the source of life and just make myself available to be used, to— the, the scriptures say to, to be streams of living water flowing through me. That's beautiful. That's, that's my purpose.