Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A measure of success.

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.