Who and What Really Defines Success?

This blog post for me is more therapy or a journal this week.  I am almost into my second month of leaving a career as a counselor to pursue ministry (unpaid).  I have a few little gigs such as my art classes or a coaching session that get me by but if it weren’t for my husband, in a few months I would probably be homeless.  Of course getting used to this lifestyle of being totally dependent on God and on others is teaching me something and I am doing a lot of soul searching in this process of letting go and living more simply so that I can serve God more.

 King Solomon’s Revelation 

 In my feeling sorry for myself I was reminded of King Solomon. According to society, he had it all. All the riches a person could ask for. All the prestige, popularity and splendor of a King.  Not only was his bank account full, so was his ego I am sure.  But in his life he came to this revelation:

 Ecclesiastes 1:14

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind….

 In this one sentence, he sums it up. But seriously, you have to read the rest of the book to really get it. Solomon talks about all the fine things he has built, all the wisdom he has acquired, all the wealth he has accumulated, all the experiences that he has had and in this one powerful little  sentence, it is merely a chasing after the wind… yeah..it really is.

 I Get Restless

 I don’t know about you, but I get restless and bored. Which is probably why getting used to this new life outside the office is hard.  So then I’m off to find the next big adventure, whether it is a business adventure, new challenge I have for myself or something else that I am trying to use to medicate the restlessness. But it NEVER works. I never feel completely content. I am not saying I am not content but our spirits cry out for something that this life cannot give us. Then I remember Jeremiah’s story..

 Being in ministry is not glamorous, especially if you are sharing truth…

 So I think about Jeremiah and about how unpopular he was and how people hated the truth he was sharing and how he was not the most popular, rich or sought after person in Jerusalem. He was the bearer of bad news, which ultimately turned to hope. Even at the end, Jeremiah was offered all the splendor, protection and riches by the King of Babylon but he refused, and he went back to the simple life with his people and did his ministry. He knew that all of that would never really mean anything and that the most important thing in his life was to follow God and be obedient to the calling on his life.  Yeah, I can relate and the adjustment is hard. 

 You see, true success is not how much stuff you have, how important your career is or how popular you are. I bet Solomon wished he would have lived more like Jeremiah.  I need not crave the type of success of Solomon but redefine what success is for me. That success may not look like success at all to anyone else, even in Christian circles, but when I meet God I will know that what I did was more important then fame or glory. My little mark on this world is God’s success and to Him all the credit goes.