by Jonathan Lee
As a young man working in a large multi-national company, the world was my oyster. I strived to climb the corporate ladder.
During this time, I was attending church and involved in a ministry, but I was more concerned about rising through the ranks and getting a big paycheck.
The desire to get ahead took a lot of my time and energy. I worked long hours, I hardly said “No” to my bosses. I rose through the ranks, from an assistant manager to vice president leading a team of professionals. I felt that I owed it to them to do even more. Little by little, I neglected the needs of my family, especially my wife, Kelly. I was enamored by the adulations and the admiration I got at work.
Then my second child, Jillian, was stricken with cancer. Life had been interrupted, yet I was defiant. I thought that I could beat this thing.
My world crumbled when Jillian’s condition took a turn for the worse. Looking at the wrecked body of my cancer-stricken young daughter, I felt helpless and small. What I wouldn’t have given to have her healed.
Her final few months and her passing away was the turning point in my life spiritually and emotionally. I was no longer in control. What used to define my world was meaningless.
The painful lesson was that I can never be master of my universe.
God interrupted my life to get my attention and such interruptions can be hard to bear. I am not saying God gave Jillian cancer to get my attention, but what happened got through to me.
It has been four years since Jillian left to be with the Lord. Over this period, I have not been 100 percent faithful in my walk with God and neither have I always made the right career choices. But will I trade career for God or work for family? No.
I have been blessed with a beautiful and wonderful family. I don’t say this enough, but I am grateful to God for my wife. She has stuck by me all this time. Never neglect your family. They are a shadow of what God’s love is.
If you are having the time of your life work wise, be thankful and always put God first. He loves you enough not to let you destroy yourself. The further you drift, the harder and louder the interruptions.
Striking a balance between career, family and God will always be a challenge in the society we live in. But I remember this: Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.
Jonathan Lee worships in SWS with his wife and 2 daughters. He dreams of playing the drums, diving, driving vintage cars and going into full-time ministry.
This article first appeared in Issue 8, August 2013 CHORUS Magazine.