This is a poem that I originally wrote in November 2019 as a companion to an article I had written for Rooted. I had recently finished reading Jamie Smith’s book On the Road with St. Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts and was particularly inspired by his chapter on ambition — how Augustine’s ambition had to be refined by a new telos or purpose: friendship with God. I hope it benefits you as you reflect on your own calling and ambition in this life.

The gift that cannot be lost
Joy sustained despite the cost
Spending and straining
Reaching and gaining
Vigor expended for you

Insatiable, the will to dominate
Craving deeply, go generate
Looks and praise
Capture, amaze
Formless, faceless mobs

Incessant game, fated to play
Aim low, undo, lose the day
Slowly try
Changing why
Savor a peace ever longed for

Fire kindling a new lit source
Love’s rest propels a goodly course
Excel, aspire
Receive, admire
The free wild of the Beloved

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