Thursday, October 22, 2015

success, contentment, and the boxes that remain

A good question: What is your idea of success?

Success, right now, today, in your various callings: what would you say that looks like?
Take a moment to consider this with me.
Many months ago, I was challenged by some words from a friend. She said, “It was when I dropped my idea of success that I began to experience contentment." (Heidi Goehman)

Wait, what?

She dropped her idea of success?
Why would someone do such a thing?
That makes me anxious, not content. How could I find contentment if I drop my long (long) list of goals for the day?
Her words continued to echo in my head, “When I dropped my idea of success…”
What is your idea of success? Mine has a lot to do with completed tasks, with order and neatness, and being helpful, with emotions in control and cheerfulness and health. Basically: cleanliness, productivity, order, health, and a good attitude to smooth over any rough patches, which there should never really be if you’re doing it right.
Am I right? And assuming this checklist is perfectly completed, contentment will come naturally.
Indeed.
This is why I need God to adjust my aim.
I make myself a list, and contentment becomes my reward for “success,” for perfect completion. It’s on the list, it’s just at the very end. 
Oh friends, don’t you see? Our God is not such a harsh taskmaster as we are ourselves.
He is the author and finisher of our race. He has set us on this journey in the first place.  He invites us to rest and contentment along the way, not as something we earn but simply as another gracious gift from His loving hand.
Surely He who gives us His Son will give us this thing.
Contentment.
Soul rest.
Sucess. What if it has more to do with rest than with work?
No, we don’t get to curl up with our Bible and ignore our neighbors. But we can return to our sanctuary often, in His lap, in His Word. In fact, we are actually invited to do this time and again, as if resting in God and believing in Him were our most important “work” in this life. As if everything depends, not on our constant giving, but on our receiving.
The boxes are not all unpacked, but I have more important things to do.  The children are napping, and it's time for me to set down my vocation for a moment, and become a child.  
Eyes on Jesus, hands open to receive.  It is enough.


Find rest, O my soul, in God alone,
my hope comes from Him
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.



Psalm 62:5-8

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I have a lot to learn from this post. I know I'll be retiring to it again and again as a reminder to put my list away and find peace more often.

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