31 May 2010


So back in March I had the honor of being quoted in the Wall Street Journal. 
In another day I'll get he honor or appearing on-stage at Computex during a keynote presentation.
The way things have been going, I suspect there will be other honors to come.

Jesus talks about the things we do and the way we do them (Matt 6) and how for those who act in public and seek the validation of men, they'll most likely get it - but that's all they'll get. Solomon talks about fame and fortune and all of that as chasing after the wind - he's right. (yeah, big surprise there...)

I gotta tell you, the whole thing with the WSJ, I had a lot of people who thought it was a much bigger deal than I did. I mean, I can see how it confers a certain kind of credibility to what we're doing, it helps get the name out and all that but who really cares? I need to be clear here, I really do see these things as genuine honors. I don't put the word in quotes as though the name is somehow dubious. It's just that I find myself pretty darn uninterested in them except insofar as I see them as things God has been doing. These are doors He is opening and I don't know to what end. So I do the interview or write the article, or get on the plane not because I seek the column inches...but it is remarkable fun to find yourself on God's adventure.

Ecclesiastes 6:1,2 says "There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity (hebel); it is a grievous evil."

I want Soma and Code-Monkeys to succeed, I really do, but I also find myself at least mildly nervous. I can't seem to read the Bible without seeing that God wants to bless his children, he wants us to prosper, and in some cases that might mean fame and fortune. But I am also very aware of Jesus' words to and about the rich. Money seems to be the only thing he says might in fact cause us to loose our eternal souls. I'm convinced that success is usually a blessing, but it is also a test, a challenge. And it seems to me that nothing in this world temps us to isolation and unaccountability like fame and fortune. Rich people are allowed all manner of character flaws that a more modestly endowed person would not. 

It is of ultimate concern to me that Soma's success not cost me my character. Nor by extension my integrity, friends or (heaven forbid) my family.

And yet I don't think it would be wise to turn away the gifts that God hands out either. I'm reminded that Moses tries to get out of his calling that day at eh bush several times and eventually God just gets mad, "But [Moses] said, "Oh, my Lord, please send someone else." Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses..." I know we need to remain humble but at some point we cross a line between humility and disregard for God's gift, spitting on his desire for our lives. What's more, it seems fair to say that God lifts people up for a larger purpose, a purpose beyond merely blessing - though He needs no larger reason to simply dote on his children.

We've started to see this more and more often in Soma. Somehow people find out about us and we get letters from folks who are moved or encouraged or inspired by the simple fact that Soma exists. In the last 12 months, we've made friends in the highest and most unlikely places all over the world. It's been a fantastic ride. ANd from where I sit now, it's obvious that it was providence and guidance and blessing. Sure, we all had our roles to play in those meetings and conversations but we haven't been actively seeking this stuff. In fact, I look back on this season and while it's been "busy" in one sense it's been effortless in another. I know what it's like to be really busy and come away feeling like all that effort availed nothing but if anything this season has been the opposite of that. I'm generally more relaxed, I  feel more 'present' and things just happen. How long that will continue is anybody's guess but so long as I can keep telling the sorry and pointing up...then I'll keep doing it.

OK, so I think I've wandered just a bit, but the point is just this: when I feels God's pleasure in what we're doing, whether that's on a stage in the spotlight or in deep obscurity, I have joy. When men bestow honor on me - I really don't care and I think that's the right attitude...I only pray that I can keep it.