It’s no fun learning something new about yourself and then realizing that what you have discovered is a pretty big issue. I discovered and realized today that I worship the god of success. I don’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry. I say laugh out loud simply because it was only a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I plan to be successful. The other joke is that I have failed this god of success far more than I have ever pleased it. And my failures have an ability to overwhelm and haunt me to the point that my failures have an ability to dictate much of my life direction and motivation.
Exodus 20 VS 3 You shall have no other gods before me.
How does one reconcile the fact that they worship another god? How does one successfully move forward? Surely success is a God given desire? What is the definition of success? What is the definition of success in Gods eyes? And how does someone move forward when their failures out number their successes?
In recent months the need for success reached its highest stakes ever in my life and the results came back with the ever familiar results of another failure. For almost 2 1/2 years I gave it everything I had to prove myself to a woman who ultimately I won as my fiancé but lost as my bride.
Upon reflection it seemed much of the time was spent proving myself as a good man but never reaching the success required to win a bride.
How does one respond to their biggest failure of their lives. It appears that I have responded with an equally difficult challenge. Publicly announcing my intention to bike across Canada during a Canadian winter. It would appear I don’t learn some lessons very easily. Deep down internally I feel if I can be successful at this adventure the world will leave me and my failures alone. I will have accomplished something that but a small handful of people in the world would even try.
My whole life seems to be surrounded by success. My father as perfectionist; perfectionists by their very definition are successful. Also growing up in the shadows of two enormously successful family businesses Oakrun Farm Bakery and Voortman Cookies. When I reflect, it’s amazing how much time I spend thinking about success and judging others success. It’s exhausting. I think I know how Cain felt in the bible (Genesis 4).
How success can be measured in a person’s life – business, family, friends, financial, accomplishments, possessions, internal fulfillment, happiness, contributing to a better society and career. At best I feel like I have a few “participation ribbons” in some of those categories but in most categories I am that kid that never gets picked.
This is not a post about pity. I already know I am in the top percentage of blessed people in the world. It’s about reflection of the past and trying to figure the path forward.
About 10 years ago I was in a Catholic school doing educational reptile shows. On the wall was a framed quote attributed to Mother Theresa. ”God has not called you to be successful He has called you to be faithful”. That quote has haunted me ever since I read it.