Ambition: Our Not-So-Secret Purpose
My stomach did several acrobatic flips as I walked into the building. I was the keynote speaker for a leadership event, and my feet felt like bricks as I made my way down the hallway to the meeting room. My usual fast pace slowed to a shuffle because I was nervous. There was something different in the air.
As I entered the room, business cards flew through the air like a flock of wild birds. Women shook hands and gave out so many hugs I lost count. Although these were executives and business owners, I could still hear their laughter. It sounded like little girls at play. These were my sisters, my friends, and peers—and I was one of their leaders.
As I walked into the room, a smile painted itself across my nervous face. Surveying the crowd, I noticed that men were present. My plan had been to talk about change management, but with the makeup of the audience, I felt myself being pulled in a different direction. I decided to follow.
A Dream Come True
How many times had I daydreamed about speaking to men and watching them nod in agreement? I had seen too many relationships fall apart because the people involved did not understand the opposite gender’s language. It was as if God had installed translation software in my brain, and whenever conflict erupted, I helped each side understand the other. While I spoke, I heard the men laugh and saw them smile as I translated femininity into a language they could understand.
After the meeting, I watched as my dream came true. Nearly every man present approached me and either shook my hand or hugged me. They wanted to know when I would be speaking to groups of men. What they didn’t know was that this had been my heart’s desire. My speaking to men was nontraditional, but I was willing to cross that bridge because it was my secret ambition.
Webster’s Dictionary defines ambition as “something a person wants to achieve and a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous.” I never thought about becoming powerful or famous, but I did want to make a positive impact on others. These men helped me to see that I had a calling to serve as a bridge between the genders. They took me by the hand and gave me permission to enter their domain.
The Goal of Godly Ambition
I believe that the ultimate goal of godly ambition is serving others. In his song, “Secret Ambition,” Michael W. Smith wrote about Jesus’ goal—to give his life away. He came to earth with a purpose that no one else could see or understand. His presence irritated and threatened those in authority, to the point that they orchestrated his death. But their actions did not deter him from his destination. Jesus’ ambition led him to not only fight tradition, but also to serve others, and he touched lives in such profound ways that he changed history.
When ambition and service collide, an explosion of destiny permeates our lives and pushes aside anything that stands in its way.
Godly ambition calls us from the innermost parts of our being and leads to a place of peace, honor, and fulfillment. God calls us to sing our song on the universe’s stage and harmonize with the chorus of mankind. Once we do that, our ambition will no longer be a secret.
Is ambition positive, neutral, destructive, or fallen but redeemable? Does ambition interfere with Christian witness? What is the difference between being called and being driven? And why does it matter? Does it matter? Western culture values a strong work ethic, and we encourage our children and their children to strive and work toward success. Have we put our focus in the right place? Join us for this High Calling series that we’ve titled simply, Ambition.