I know what you are thinking: “Oh boy. Another blog about success.”
And in a sense you would be right. But then again, I hope you will give this post a chance to develop and get you to thinking. Deal?
The American dream is conniving and enticing.
We I have in the past been duped like so many others into believing that success comes by what a person possesses or earns. I am probably preaching to the choir here when I say, “It ain’t so!”
“Tell me something I don’t already know Cycleguy.” Truthfully, I probably can’t do that. All I can really do is beat the warning drum a little more (not sure louder would work). And I can tell you from personal experience that chasing after success isn’t all its cracked up to be. In regards to our society, I have not been nor probably ever will be successful. In regards to being a pastor many, including myself, will be tempted to paint a big “L” on my forehead.
I have never pastored a mega-church. Shoot, the largest church I ever pastored numbered in the 200s. (I was once an Associate Pastor i.e. Youth Pastor in a church that ranged from 300-400).
I have never posted huge numbers of converts (that I am aware of).
I have never written a book, a song (good thing), or been in demand as a speaker.
I have never been asked to speak to other pastors in any kind of conference.
I HAVE FELT LIKE A FAILURE as a result of the above facts. All because I was taking my cue from what the church world equated success with. That isn’t even bringing in how the non-church world would view my lack of “success” financially, etc.
And you know what? That’s okay….now. Didn’t always used to be that way. I was the poster boy for “failing to view success correctly” in the church world. Bob Goff in Love Does hit it well with this quote:
I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.
Let me tell you: if that doesn’t set your heart straight, then go back to the drawing board. For example, I have been mega-privileged to be the father of two fantastically awesome young ladies who make me prouder of them every day. To have failed at being a father? Now that is failure! I think with the wisdom of a 59 year old now. To have been a “successful” pastor, but to have lost my girls’ love and respect would have been a real failure. I could give you some other examples of failure/success, but don’t have the space.
So…my advice? Stop looking to others for your validation and evaluation. Start looking to the ONE who is the only ONE you need to really please. If at the end of the day you can lay your head on your pillow and close your eyes knowing you have honored HIM, you are successful. What are your thoughts?
This is another post in my ongoing series on Bob Goff’s book, Love Does.