It is amazing how God speaks to his children about certain things. Last night, I was browsing through the archived files in my laptop and found this very old chat message with a friend about 6 years ago on what success means. It made me reflect on what I have accomplished in the past years of my career life and why I am here where I am now. I may not have acquired a Ph.D. (not yet at least) nor have achieved the highest position in the corporate ladder, but I can surely tell you that I have not felt more accomplished nor successful than now.
“To laugh often and much;
to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of the children;
to learn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child.
A garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived…
This is to have succeeded…”
Last Friday at our Staff Devotion, Pastor Noli’s exhortation from Ecclesiastes 2:17-26 breathes into me a renewed sense of purpose, a better perspective of success… and I believe it supersedes everything that was mentioned above.
“You work and worry your way through life, and what do you have to show for it? As long as you live, everything you do brings nothing but worry and heartache. Even at night your mind can’t rest. It is all useless. The best thing we can do is eat and drink (*hey, not the kind of drinking you are thinking of) and enjoy what we have earned. And yet, I realized that even this comes from God. How else could you have anything to eat or enjoy yourself at all? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness to those who please him, but he makes sinners work, earning and saving, so that what they get can be given to those who please him. It is all useless. It is like chasing after the wind.”
~Ecclesiastes 2:22-26 [Good News Translation]
It all goes back to God. Whatever you have achieved, wherever success takes you, whenever recognitions are given… all is futile unless God is with you on that path. Your existence and the success you achieve can only count for something when it is offered to the Lord.
When I took up Consular and Diplomatic Affairs in college, I aspired to go towards that direction–be an ambassador. Not because I want to gain prestige nor power…but to reach out to the nations. God still indirectly answered that aspiration though. I am no Philippine ambassador, yet God still has allowed me to be an ambassador–an ambassador of His Word. And for me, that weighs a thousand times over than being called an ambassador of the Philippines.
I don’t know what the years ahead hold for me or where the Lord will bring me next but knowing that it is he who began this good work in me will be faithful to complete it, then I will rest assured that what I am doing today will count something for eternity because I serve him. It may not be as glamorous as some people may view it, but to say that I work for THE King of kings and the Lord of lords is far better credential than anything this world can present.
Now this… this, for me, is success.