UGH! Again, I write a blog to post for Random Writers, and have an ‘AH HA’ moment between the time it is written and the time I’m to post the blog, that relates to the topic at hand which means I have to start over at the beginning. GRRR! But this is a good one, in that I think you’ll agree with me, and hopefully experience a bit of an ‘AH HA’ moment yourself as you read along with today’s post.
The blog I’d written was about a real life scene I’d witnessed a few years ago that played out before me. A moment where I witnessed what I considered to be a true success story. Watching a three generation family, approaching the alter rail on Sunday morning to take the Eucharist absolutely knocked my socks off that day, as for the first time I had a glimpse of what the tenacity and determination that committed family must have pledged over the years to keep it all intact. To me, when I saw the older couple, flanked by their children and grown grandchildren, enjoying a holy supper together, I saw lives well lived and thought to myself, “well done, my good and faithful friends”.
At this stage in life, I’m not to likely to experience that same measure of success. As sad as that is for me to acknowledge, I know there are other ways that I can and should measure success, and just a bit ago, four sentences crossed my desk that have shown me how to measure my own success in my new life.
I was reading Habitat for Humanity’s annual report that had just been filtered down to me and was delighted when the first four sentences rang out, with what I now believe to be the truest measure of success:
“In the face of staggering need, success cannot be measured in the same old ways.
It must be measured in momentum and scale. Are we doing enough? Can we do more?”
Are we doing enough? Can we do more?
Am I doing enough? Can I do more?
If I truly believe I am the hands and feet of Jesus, when I think of defining my own success, is this not the measure I should be using?
Our economic and social climates are changing at staggering paces. Expectations are different for everyone compared to what they were 10, 15 years ago. There is momentum behind those changes which would suggest that there should be momentum in the measures in which we grade the changes, too.
My life is not what I ever dreamed it would be. I’m in a much, much different place than I ever expected to be, and with that shift in reality there should also be an accompanying paradigm shift. So here I am throwing out my old image of success, the happy family.
(deep breathe, still hard to let go).
Moving on. . .
I didn’t go to graduate school because, as a part of my undergraduate work, I took a class about Research Methods. Then I took a class in statistics and decided that I hated all things statistical and research related. My brain doesn’t function in a way that supports mathematical analysis, so I wrote all that madness off long ago.
But you know what? God didn’t.
And of course you know He likes to challenge me and pull me out of my comfort zone. So you can go ahead and laugh when I tell you that one of the largest annual projects that I am responsible for at work is a program called Success Measures. A survey of home buyers and homeowners, and all of its’ analysis and evaluation is my responsibility.
I have hated it since its inception, but this year I decided to make it my bitch. I intentionally changed my mind about it. I forced (placed the momentum behind) the paradigm shift and it worked out pretty well. Better than it had in previous years, although not perfect.
For me to be successful, I can’t shut myself down to Success Measures or other things I’m not naturally inclined to accomplish. I have to open my heart and mind to whatever God has called me to do! I can’t look at Success Measures the way I did a few years ago. I can’t look at anything the same way I did a few years ago. Everything is different now.
I need to move with the times thinking, am I doing enough? Can I do more?
Because if you ask me, I’ve never looked at a parked car and thought, “Wow, that one is on it’s way to victory! The finish line is just around the corner.” We can all assume that one that is gaining speed and momentum is far more likely to reach the finish line first.
Oh, and you can’t steer a parked car.