On Tuesday night, my wife and I went out on a date.  My mother graciously watched our son while we went out for supper without the little guy to take care of.  We had a great time visiting and just enjoying being together.  On our way home, she asked me a very thought-provoking question:  “Do you see yourself as being successful?”  Report cards are coming next week, and many students may ask themselves this very question.  I think that it’s a good one for all of us to think about because it makes us evaluate our definition of what success even is in the first place.  Maybe some of us have missed the mark a bit, or a lot, about what success truly is.  Then, it is good to consider how we have measured up, and if there is anything that we could reprioritize in our lives to better achieve the success that we are after.

I guess that I have made comments in the past about how many of my high school and Bible college classmates have been “successful.”  I was referring to how well they have done financially.  One of my friends is a dentist, another is an optometrist, another just started a snow removal business that has absolutely taken off in Calgary, and the list goes on.  Sometimes, I find it difficult to avoid comparing myself to them, and feeling like I have come up a bit short.  In the past, if I was honest, I think the first thing that my mind would have gone to were academic and sports awards that I had won, using that as evidence that I have been successful at some points in my life.

When my wife asked me the question, I started thinking about what success truly is.  When I am lying on my deathbed (assuming that I am not suddenly killed somehow), what benchmarks will I use to measure whether or not I have lived my life well?  I don’t think I will be concerned about the size of my house or my bank account.  As I whittled away the things that don’t matter much eternally, I finally arrived at something substantial.  I think that for me to be successful, I need to know God and obey Him.  That’s it.  If I am making progress in this way, everything else will flow from it.  If God is my source of strength, security, and significance, then my needs will be met in Him.  Out of that fullness, I can give to others.  It was nice to arrive at such a simple definition of success.  With God’s help, and the help of significant people in my life, I think that I can see some good progress in my life in the past while.  My main goal is to continue the progress:  to get to know God more closely, and to obey Him more immediately.  Of course, I have other New Year’s resolution type goals like being able to ski faster, travel to more places, lift heavier weights, read more, and so on.  However, I want my main goal to actually be the biggest priority in my life… the one that I work on hardest in order to succeed.

What’s your definition of success?  What steps are you making in order to achieve that goal?

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