How do we measure success? This is a question that has come up a few times as of late and it got me wondering....I know how to define professional success but how do I measure personal success?
May is always a busy month for me, I will share a couple of the events that
I was helping plan. At the beginning of the month I was involved in a
fund-raising event for Gallery 7, a local theatre that I love. At the last
minute we had to change the format and although I was excited about the
prospect in the end we did not meet our financial goals. Does this mean it was
unsuccessful? Not at all, in the end we found that it was less work, less
stressful and more fun!! With some work and some tweaking we can make this
event much better next year....so yes, it was successful!
Then this weekend I spent 36 hours at History Makers, a local youth event
that hosts about 3,500 teens. This is the third year I have been involved in
this weekend and although it is a TON of work I love doing it. After all was
said and done I was asked, was it successful?? I can't go into the financial
side of it but what if I simply look at the teens that I met, interacted with
and heard about? One young man was brought up in a satanic home, he was
thrilled to purchase a t-shirt that read "God's got your back" and
his leader felt he was ready to commit to living a Christ filled life; a young
girl whose bible of 8 years was devastated that it was falling apart, it was an
older bible that was no longer in print...if only I could describe the sheer joy
on her face when I went to the store and found an old leather bible that
matched her beloved tattered paperback; the young girl who was finally gaining
some independence and making friends; the young man who had attended the last 3
years and greeted us like old friends; thousands of teens in a worship concert
with hands raised, praising God....I could go on and I should because
yes, it was successful!!
That leads me to wonder how do we measure personal success? In order to measure our
personal success, we have to be able to look past how much money or power we
have gained. Personal success is also marked by examining spiritual growth,
emotional growth and attitude towards life. As I make a mental list of all that
I have accomplished these past 20 years I can see what I deem successes and
failures. As I make an inventory of them I wonder what does God think? How
would he measure my success?
As I started to search
the bible I am thrilled to find answers...starting with King David as he
spoke to Solomon, "Observe the requirements of the LORD
your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and
laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do
and wherever you go." 1 Kings 2:3. I continued to search and find more
than 20 references to success (not exhausted at all) and I can take comfort...my success is measured by the Lord.