How will you triumph in the new year? What successes and breakthroughs would like to see fulfilled in your life? As we enter 2022, many of us are success planning as we think about our goals and our dreams for the new year. Before us, we have a brand new, blank calendar with plans and dreams that curl around our souls with a desire to accomplish satisfactory and even exemplary results. But many of us question how we will achieve these successes, and what do the results of such say about us and our performance?
SUCCESS is the focus of our Permission to Pause podcast to kick off the new year.
A quote that I read from one of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, whose book Reaching Out was life changing for me, said this:
“If you know you are the beloved, you can live with an enormous amount of success and enormous amount of failure without losing your identity because your identity is that you are the beloved. The question becomes can I live a life of faith in the world and trust that it will bear fruit?”
As a ministry leader author and coach for the past 30+ years, I have experienced a tension between “measures of success” as a motivation to bear fruit, versus heightened pressure to perform and through that performance, to carve out my identity around my successes.
I was taught by coaches and mentors that each year we should determine our “measures of success” in the ministry. As I state in my book, Life Unstuck, I am a “bumble bee”. Accomplishments, success, and approval are all very important to me and if I’m not aware and very cautious, my identity can become measured by the standards of the world instead of my identity as “beloved”. His beloved. My identity in Him can quickly become second to a performance-based identity that inevitably has its limitations.
Thankfully, as I get older, many of those motivations to achieve earthly focused goals are behind me. I’m finding that my ambitions to solidify my identity as “beloved” have instead been increasing. Slowly, but surely, I am more and more aware of the of the goodness of God. My measures of success by the world standards, lessen as my eternal measures of success found in silence—in Pause—in resting in the simple presence of Jesus gets stronger.
I love how Mother Teresa measures success! She says it this way:
“I was never called to be successful. I was called to be faithful, and in my striving, to be faithful. My life will be fruitful. You could say I am successful.”
May we measure our success by drawing near to the Lord, by seeking His heart, by recognizing our position in Him, and by finding fruitfulness in service.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (ESV) says:
3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
I hope you will stop by the podcast for a moment of pause with me!
Lord, thank you that YOU ALONE are my measure of success. As I make my plans for the coming year, as I set my goals, as I fill in my calendar, help me to keep my heart set on you. Remind me to write YOUR NAME on the tablets of my journals, vision boards and calendars. I desire for my “measure of success” to be found fully in you. Amen