I sat there in my occasionally used cubicle and I could almost feel it slowly shrinking away. “It” was my soul and I was starting to lose it. To be honest it can happen so quickly, you may not even realize it. In today’s Corporate America, expectations are high, people are stretched to capacity and the old values we once held dear are no longer important. This isn’t about the company I work for, it’s about all companies and the culture around us.

Just 24 hours ago, I sat in a room fighting to protect my desire to not travel 3-4 days a week. I pleaded a case to allow me to work from the city I live in (I’ve had to commute to another state to work out of said cubicle for a few months now). The key word there is “live”. For it is in that city that my family, my community, my passions and my circles of influence reside. It’s where I live and where I am alive. I am willing to die on that hill every single day to protect each of those things. We have to do this, even when others don’t share our values.

I’m not saying someone else’s priorities are wrong. If climbing the ladder means leaving family and friends to get there, that is your call. It’s your decision. It’s your soul and you know what either makes it come alive or kills it. What I am saying is that I know my soul and I know that it is dying here in this cubicle. I don’t want the whole world. I don’t want titles and fancy offices. I want faith, family, friends, community and to leave a legacy that intertwines them all. They won’t remember how cool my cubicle was decorated, but they will remember if I left a mark on their life.

There’s a fine line to walk in this battle for what we want and what we believe is worth fighting for. We still need to provide for our families. We still need to work with integrity, honor and bring satisfaction to the employer that signs our check. We need to find a balance between what the organization needs and what we’re compensated for. We need to be thankful for the opportunities and income. But we can’t let it steal our soul. We have to fight to protect what matters most. Anything less is giving away another piece of our soul.

As I sat in my cubicle, feeling the drain of my soul, a song came on my iPod (which I listen to cancel out the many distractions which do nothing to help the situation). It’s a song I’ve heard a million times. Yet it was this prayer at the end that caught my attention. May this be my prayer. May this be my soul…

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world that fight for our love and our passion. As our eyes are opened wide and on you, grant us the privilege of Your world view. And may Your kingdom be what wakes us up and lays us down. – Toby Mac

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? – Mark 8:36