Ian Philips has achieved the American, if not the Worldwide Dream. He owns 3 homes including private property on Malibu Beach. He has been faithfully married for over 25 years (his wife is seen in the picture enjoying the glorious view from one of their smaller homes). Both parents can humbly say that they made the majority of right decisions in their journey of raising kids. All three of their children have either internships or high level positions in Fortune 500 companies. Even though Ian is the CEO of his company – he has been able to successfully balance the demands of work and home. He and his family are able to take time off to travel the world when restrictions aren’t in place. For a hobby – Ian tinkers with and occassionally races the four sports cars that he owns. He even has an onsite mechanic to take care of his family and recreational vehicles. To top it all off – a five star chef lives in their guest home and makes delicious and nutrious meals. He has dined at the finest restaurants here and abroad.
In an interview he proclaimed, “At the moment I have all I need – and more!” A true success story. Wow, it really is a wonderful life!!!
Gotcha!!! I totally made up the story of Ian and you believed it!!! I know, that wasn’t very nice, but hang with me. Honestly, weren’t you thinking: I would like to have just a little of what Ian has??? It seems like he has every material possession we would desire, and a life free from the everyday hassles you and I just can’t seem to get past???
Why would I make up this story? First of all, the only true part of the story is the quote. Those words were spoken by the Apostle Paul – while he was in prison!!! Philip Ian is a backword play on words for the book of Philip – pians in the Bible. Again, in prison Paul proclaims,
“At the moment I have all I need – and more!” (Philippians 4:18)
This was a prision cell in A.D. 61. No AC or heat, no electricity, the floors were dirt, no toliet or plumbing, rats as cellmates, no exercise area, no medical attention, no lawyers, no balanced meals, or no idea how long your sentence is.
Being transparent, his situation makes me take a look inside and I’m embarrassed what I truly get upset over – traffic, waiting for a train, cold take out food, unreturned phone calls for reference checks, too many emails in my inbox, the internet connection going out for an hour or two, lack of control over the future, and on and on it goes. One of the greatest lessons that keeps getting hammered into my brain is having joy in spite of circumstances, not having joy because all my circumstances are aligned in the direction I want them to go. The perspective that everything should go my way always leads me down the road of disappointment and wondering if I’m doing something wrong. Don’t you sometimes feel that way???
How does Paul do it? Read the 4 chapters of the book of Philippians slowly, here is a partial summary. He never loses sight of his life mission. He writes a book while in prison. Shares his faith and hope with anyone that will listen (even the prison guards). He keeps a laser like focus on others. Paul chooses prayer vs. worry. He knows the power of the mind and meditates on the good. Paul is able to keep an eternal perspective in spite of his current conditions.
Today he is in Heaven with the One he kept focusing on and serving. And guess what – Paul has a 1000X better life than Ian Philips could ever imagine!!!