This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
The (hopefully) obvious answer for anyone that has been around my blog for any amount of time, or has opened the Bible or heard a good sermon or learned for themselves the hard way, is not money, fame, materialism, comfort or any other selfish, self-preservationist type endeavor.
Much to the contrary, success comes from making a difference in this world to the glory of God.
I wanted to share a couple poems that have been in my house most of my life.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Figure it out for yourself, my lad, You’ve all that the greatest men have had; Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes, and a brain to use if you would be wise. With this equipment they all began. So start from the top and say “I can.” Look them over, the wise and the great, they take their food from a common plate. And similar knives and forks they use, with similar laces they tie their shoes. The world considers them brave and smart, but you’ve all they had when they made their start. You can triumph and come to the skill, you can be great if you only will. Your well equipped for what fight you choose; you have arms and legs and a brain to use. And the man who has risen great deeds to do, began his life with no more than you. You are the one who must choose your place, you must say where you want to go, how much you will study the truth to know; God has equipped you for life, but He lets you decide what you want to be. Courage must come from the soul within, the man must furnish the will to win. So figure it out for yourself, my lad, you were born with all that the great have had. With your equipment they all began, get hold of yourself and say with God “I can.”
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)
Success to me at this point in my life is not defined as what I have obtained or achieved, but instead the measure of myself that have I given to others.
Sadly that list is short for my entire life I bought into the lie that I am to pursue greatness so that I can live a comfortable, pleasure-filled life. Not until I came to Christ and opened God’s word did I learn that the greatest personal sacrifices of time, talents and treasures are the ones that bring the greatest inner joy.
Our life is not our own anymore, we were purchased at an incredible price and it is an honor to now have the opportunity to give it all back to our Redeemer.
Father God, I thank you for the grace and mercy that you have poured into my entire life even though I didn’t know you until late in life. That in your incredible wisdom you allowed me to reap the rewards of the world through money, comfort, fun and pleasures which all left me empty and still searching. My prayer Father is that my life and my words help those still young with their whole life ahead to learn that they don’t need to waste their lives learning the lessons that are so clearly written in Your word, modeled in the life of Christ, and written on our hearts through the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that all will come to an abiding faith and understanding of how much You truly love us and desire that every knee will bow to Your great name, not as slaves but as men and women who know they are truly set free by the blood of the lamb. We do not have to live in bondage to addictions, we no longer have to be poisoned by hate and resentments, we no longer have to live in selfish complacency and directionless. By Your redemptive power we are given new life Lord. Thank you for all of my life Father God, for I was blind but now I see. In Jesus name I pray…