/ / post by: Adrian Mills / /
Confession time: I was a thespian. There it is…don’t like to admit it, but I was. I’m not sure I was all that good, but I was really loud (still am), always dramatic, and really good at embarrassing myself.
All these years later I still love being captivated by the stage. I can remember the first time I saw a Broadway musical. I was sucked in to every word, every melody.
Songs are powerful, stories are powerful, but when you connect the two together, it’s unforgettable.
There is one song from the musical Rent that haunts me. While the musical itself is not one of my favorites, this particular song not only has a melody that is catchy, but a message that I find so meaningful for my life today.
How do you measure a year? What a profound question. Do we measure the joys? The sorrows? What makes time matter? Are we just living from one day to the next or is there something deeper happening? Something more meaningful…
If I was totally honest, I would say that one of my greatest struggles has to do with the word “success”. As a pastor, that word seems out of place, unholy, even dirty. My call as a pastor is to be obedient, not successful, and yet, I often wonder if what I am doing really matters.
But what do we do with this tiny voice inside that wants to know, “Am I successful?”
I have found, in moments of transparency, that I’m not alone in this struggle. It is not only pastors who wrestle with these questions but many others. You are not alone in the desire to want to succeed, to matter, to make a difference. This is not a burden that you have to carry alone.
Perhaps we need to adjust how we measure our moments, our days, even our years.
How will we measure this year?
In awards or accolades?
In accomplishing a list of resolutions?
In taking another step in our 10 year plan?
I find such rich meaning and purpose in the words of Isaiah 26:8
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws;
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
We have spent so long being acclimated to the world’s value system. Success is based on beauty, accomplishments, fame and fortune. But this is not the way it works in His kingdom.
His definition of success (ready for it?): that He would receive glory from our lives. That His name, his renown would be our greatest desire.
May you cling to these words this year. During moments when you are tempted to value yourself based on how you compare to others…STOP. Do not allow a worldly definition of success to be what defines you. You were created for more than that. Let Him begin to re-write the story of your life, your journey, your future.