Martin Puryear, Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996
“Why do I feel I have to reach,
believe I have to rise,
When You never said I had to climb
these broken ladders?”
While living in Fort Worth, Texas, I visited the Museum of Modern Art and came across a sculpture by Martin Puryear entitled Ladder for Booker T. Washington. This wooden sculpture seems to rise precariously into infinity, and has been associated with ambition, hierarchy, and the impossibility of reaching the top.
As I gaze at this sculpture, I’m reminded of the life most people choose to live. We set countless goals for ourselves and chase after a million different dreams. While this may increase our motivation and bring some level of success, none of us will ever “arrive.” No wonder Solomon, a man known for his profound wisdom, wrote that “all is vanity!” (Ephesians 1:2).
The good news is this: we don’t have to beat ourselves up for not reaching a goal for the umpteenth time. God – the One who created us – expects only one thing from us: He just wants us to know Him. Once we accomplish that, He is eternally pleased with us and we are promised an eternity of joy, fulfillment, and peace! (2 Peter 1:2)
This may sound too good to be true, but research what the Bible has to say about this and you may be surprised! We are such proud creatures that we want to have to work for approval and somehow earn happiness, but this is completely futile! True and lasting joy for all eternity can be yours today, and it doesn’t have to be earned… it is a precious gift that is given by God Himself to all who believe in the name of Jesus (John 3:16).
This Easter season, I challenge you to do a little research on Jesus Christ. Who exactly was He? What did He say and do? And could He be THE ladder to eternal joy in Heaven? If you have any questions, let me know. I would love to have a discussion with you!
For those of you who are believers already, allow this Easter to be one of renewed commitment to following Jesus – THE way, THE truth, and THE life (John 14:6). You can waste your thoughts, resources, and energy into chasing other dreams, but every one of these is a broken ladder.
The Christian music group, Selah, has recently recorded a song entitled Broken Ladders. Take a moment to listen to these profound lyrics:
Are you chasing after the only thing that is genuinely worthwhile? Or are you climbing a broken ladder?