Driven by Heavenly Thinking

BY: PEYTON JADE GOTTSCHALK

Ambitious. The 9 letter word we all hope our peers use to describe us, both to our faces and behind our backs.

Or as Google’s dictionary defines it…

“A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”

It’s this idea that looms over our head and taunts us into thinking we are either lazy couch potatoes for not being ambitious enough or self-centered work addicts if we are too driven by the concept of succeeding.

At least that’s what I used to think. I used to buy into my own lies that if I wanted a particular path in life too much, I would become too focused on myself and my desires to be a participant in the highs and lows of the lives of the people I cared about. I told myself in order to pursue my dreams of being a fashion designer in the buzzing hub of New York City, I would certainly have to give up friendships and family ties and my fantasy of being a mother to babies with chub rolls galore. I thought, in order to make it big, I had no choice but to toss out every other element that fueled the joy in my life in order to collect enough stored up energy to put nothing short of 100% of me into my life’s work. I limited my life’s work to being one thing. If I wanted to be an incredible designer instead of merely a mediocre one, I would have to only be a designer. Not a friend. Not a partner or a parent. Only a designer in NYC.

This was the ‘self-centered work addict who is too driven by the concept of succeeding’ type of ambitious I didn’t want to be.

More recently, or more so the past couple of years, I have learned a lot about grace and God’s desires for me. He has been teaching me about the goodness of rest. He even went through this phase a few weeks ago where He had me sit in on five sermons in a row on rest (God really has a sense of humor when it comes to teaching lessons).  While I am still learning what it looks like to live out of a place of rest instead of restlessness, I do think I have a better grip on the reality God intends for people in this day and age.

He invites us to dream about our best life. God is actually such a caring Father that He wants our heart’s desires to be met. But, He also wants us to live in accordance to His will for each of our lives. He wants us to think and act from the heavenly places we are seated towards earth. He calls us to invite the Holy Spirit to be active in our thought process. In doing so, in truly letting the King of Love captivate our every thought, we can be sure we are living out life as fully as we can.

What I am saying is this, God so loves us and pours mercy out upon us in our daily lives that I am not bound by earthly success. The way people around me define what it means to be ‘ambitious’ does not have to be the way I define it. I just have to align my heart and mind with His to know what it truly looks like to be hard working. In looking to my God, I have the perfect example of what my desires should be. He actually tells me what I should strive for.

So let’s throw away predefined terms for ambitious and look at it from a new perspective.


I have a strong desire to love others to my best ability.

I want to achieve greatness in terms of walking out this life with Jesus as my greatest example.

I am determined to wake up each morning with a fresh outlook on life.


“Relying on God has to start over every day, as if nothing has yet been done,” C.S. Lewis.


Peyton is a freelance journalist who strides through every day with a little coffee and a lot of Jesus. If she’s not scribbling away in a journal at a corner café she is probably watercolor painting, baking pastries or exploring new hobbies.