At times you wonder why you’re left out of the shuffle. Do you ever feel that way, dear reader? You know what I mean.
You strive for something in life; you throw everything you’ve got into it, and then watch while success comes to someone else who’s hardly even looking for it – at least not with the same passion – as easily as falling off a log. What you’ve been striving for pursues and overtakes them, when they’re not even asking for it. What’s up with that? Frankly it makes you angry! It’s as if certain people in your life are assigned the task of rubbing salt in your wounds, and they don’t even realize it.
You tell yourself how silly this is. Why should I even be worrying about that? This is so petty of me! Why am I feeling like this? You boil in your own stew. inwardly you’re maybe even shaking your fist at God.
What the stew boils down to is that you discover you’re playing Salieri to another’s Mozart. The desired recognition for achievement, kudos, and applause go off into the distance to overtake another whom you feel does not deserve it, nor have they passed muster, worked as hard, been at it as long, or gone through the boot camp it took to get you even this far. And it just falls into their lap!
Although a highly fictionalized portrayal of the two contemporaries Salieri and Mozart, in the 1984 film Amadeus, it very well illustrates the point about this particular kind of frustration that is sometimes felt along the way. I can’t think of a better depiction which describes the angst – jealousy, rage, resentment all rolled into one. Certainly many people identify with this sense of “why him [or her] and not me?”
It was also present in the incident after the Resurrection as Jesus manifested Himself by the Sea of Tiberius [John 21:21,22]. He explains to Peter what awaited him in the future, and Peter questions, “But what about John? Why does he get to remain, but I get to be crucified?” Even at this point, in the Presence of the risen Lord, jealousy raises its head and makes itself known.
You question both your motives and your “mojo”. What’s wrong with me? Why is the “universe” honoring their flippant non-effort with no focus on their part whatsoever, and flat our ignoring both your effort and focus in worldly attainments, or worse yet, you find yourself in an even worse situation? Something’s “not fair” here, Lord!
That’s when it hits you.
Nothing like the Still Small Voice of the Holy Spirit to make an impact.
“Since when have you become so interested in the attention and focus of the world? When did you decide that you wished to become entangled in things which would put a spotlight on you?
“Do you recall those many years ago when you gladly surrendered everything to Me, and you understood that there didn’t need to be anymore of this climbing and clawing to get where you thought you wanted to go? You gladly turned away from all that, and were you not filled with joy unspeakable and a sense of freedom which you had never known before? Do you remember how lovingly you laid it all at My feet, how you decided to stop chasing rainbows and pretty bubbles in the air?
“I asked for your complete devotion. You gladly gave it. All the idols in your pantheon, you surrendered to Me. But now you’re asking to have one or two of them back?
“You see, beloved, those things are the things which pass away. They are temporal things, whether tangible riches and wealth, or the intangible desires for recognition. Do you have any idea where those things came from in the first place, that anything in Lucifer’s world system should have an appeal for you? Consider this well. For it is after all these things that the worldly seek, and they have their reward. My sons and daughters have a far higher calling than this.
“You have been laying up treasures in heaven, and keeping your heart set upon that which is above, and not on the things below, for a long time. Yet it is this fleeting moment of jealousy which is revealing to you that you still have some attachment to the old things that once were.
You’re hiding idols in My shrine, but mostly from yourself.
The adversary has come to haunt and taunt you with this. He may even use another “believer” to do so. However you must understand that some believers are yet carnal – they seek after the world and use certain techniques of mind in order to ‘attract’ their desires. As zealous as these souls may seem to be, they have not yet understood the freedom that is theirs in forsaking everything to follow Me, and they have not surrendered themselves, but are still at center stage of all that they pursue.
“Let these vain pursuits go, and return to single minded and pure hearted devotion to Me. Herein you will find repentance and the joyous freedom you used to know. I will use all your gifts and talents according to My highest way for you and in My own timing. But there is a journey ahead, and along that path you must first be made pure. Turn your eyes therefore neither to the right nor to the left, but follow Me on straight ahead.”
“And remember that ‘whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?’ “ [Luke 9:24, 25 NASB].