Monday, July 19, 2010

Success According to Whom

I have been struggling internally for a couple weeks with my own person.

Sometimes I have nervous breakdowns. They are never pretty. Last night I had one. Clearly I was overtired, because that is not my normal behavior. My poor husband didn't know what to do with me, as I was curled up on the floor in a fetal position, sobbing and screaming, so he called my mother, who talked me back down off the ledge and reminded me that I am God's beautiful child, precious in his sight and created to do great things for Him.

The problem is that I don't know what those great things are. And no matter how much I remind myself of these wonderful things, I still feel the nagging voice of some inner demon telling me that I am a failure at most things in life and mediocre at best. Somewhere inside of me, I do not believe those things that this demon is whispering to me, but my faith feels battered and worn and those beliefs that should be my lifesong are almost inaudible.

I cry out for help, but I don't get the kind of help I want. It shouldn't be that way, I'm sure. If I were drowning, I would want ANY help. But when you're drowning and exhausted and frightened, hearing someone in a boat yelling "SWIM! SWIM!" at you isn't much help at all. That's what it feels like to me right now.

My definition of success is completely opposite to the world's definition. I am a very content person for the most part, and very satisfied to sit back and remember that my life, strength, hope and resources do not come from man, but from God. I don't want to keep up with the neighbors. I don't care whose house is bigger than mine, who has a bigger television, who makes more money or who gets to take more vacation days. As long as the bills are being paid and we have food, I am satisfied. (And I have been growing a lot of food these days anyway.) I see success as being who I have shown God's love to, how many times I have resisted doing something to hurt someone else, how many children I've taught and given hugs to, how many times I have proven myself reliable to a friend.

Since we're about to open a 3 week showing of 'Rent' at our local theatre group, I have to recall the song "Seaons of Love" because it accurately describes my outlook on life. How do you measure life? How do you determine how much someone's life is worth? I would measure it in love - not minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. How many people have I shown love to? How many people can come to me for love and support? I hope that I have been successful according to GOD'S definition and not the world's definition.

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