Being a contrarian.

My entire life, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that I didn’t belong. Still do. I float around between groups of people — my fitness junkie friends, my church friends, my school friends. I love them all. And some of them I am actually quite close to. But I still feel disconnected.

I’m a writer. An entrepreneur. A Christian. An achiever. (At least I perceive that I am all of these things.)

It’s a lonely life.

In ministry, I meet TONS of people, I fall in love with them. I pray for them, I cry with them, I celebrate with them. But let’s be real. Being a Christian is about persecution. True believers are shunned and hated and alone for speaking the truth, particularly in the Church.

I’m technically an extrovert. I love hanging out with people. I love learning about people. I love everything about them.

Yet, in order to accomplish the things I strive for, I am required to spend long periods of time alone. I have to put my head down and read a lot. I have to spend hours with sheets of paper, writing and planning. I exercise most effectively alone. I study most effectively alone. I pray alone.

And this last one might make me seem a little bit like a jerk — I intentionally (and reluctantly) disconnect myself from most people because I know that by hanging out with them, I won’t be able to hit my goals.

They don’t shoot for the same things. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, people do not strive for excellence. They settle for mediocrity. And we become like those we hang around with most.

And it hurts me to do this because I love people. I want nothing more than to love and to be loved. I sometimes even settle for fake acceptance to fill my need for connection. As long as I feel loved, my nature is to live the lie. My nature is to drop everything and give my life to those around me — for selfish reasons, really.

But doing what I want and seeking my destiny are not the same thing. I’m probably like some sort of self-righteous scumbag, but I believe it’s a biblical matter: To whom much is given, much is required, God says.

I’ve been given the ability to be more than I am now. And I’ve come to the conclusion that merely settling for what makes me happy would be a waste of my life. So I strive to be more.

There’s much to be said about being happy with who you are, living in the now, being fully present. It is important. But it’s a tool, not a goal.

So I try to be different.

Look around. Do you fit in with your peers? If so, you might want to think of changing something.

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