Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is it Meaningless or Is it Success?

My Victory Dance
To the person who pleases him, 
God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, 
but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. 
This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 
 Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV

We are digging into Ecclesiastes 2 at our church and I couldn't be more fascinated by it. King Solomon, who wrote the book, would have been considered "successful" by most worldly standards, especially at that time in history. Yet, in this memoir, you find that he has deemed most of the riches he has amassed, the hours he toiled, the wives and concubines he had claimed...he realized that it was all MEANINGLESS and brought him no closer to any sort of joy in his heart of hearts. 

In reading through his dilemma, we start to wonder for ourselves, WHAT IS SUCCESS?  

As a mom, a wife, a writer, an advocate, a teacher, daughter, citizen...where will I find my scale that shows me how much JOY or SUCCESS I have achieved?  

I'll be talking more about this topic in my future posts, I'm sure, because pride and success is something I definitely struggle with, but yesterday afternoon I had the SWEETEST aroma of "success" that I wanted to share it and give God the glory.

Are you familiar with the concept in English Language Arts of MAKING CONNECTIONS to what you are reading? Well, my daughter (who has documented intellectual delays) makes connections every week for her middle school ELA class when she does her Reading Log. You are supposed to be able to make connections between what you're reading and what also might be going on in the world, in your life, or in other books that you have read.

Yesterday our daughter was reading her iBook Devotions for the God Girl by Haley DiMarco (2010).  She read this out loud: 
When life throws you a curve ball, don't worry, God's got your back. You've got to know that like Joseph, you can rise above mean people and overcome through faith in the one who sets the moon and the stars in place.
I may have been elated by hearing her read such a complex series of words, but it got even better!

She THEN said:
This reminds me of the song Stars by Skillet.  

Yes. Not only did she make an AMAZING connection between what she was reading and the music she listens to, but she displayed her Panhead-ness in her connection.

Okay, all "head-banging" music jokes aside, I was OVER THE MOON that she realized she had the power to DIS-EMPOWER the mean people of the world by turning to the God who created her and also created the Universe and all that is within it.  And NOW, this song will remind her of that because she made the connection from her devotional to the lyrics.
I had a taste of SUCCESS in my goal to equip my daughter with tools she needs to help calm her anxious heart.   
So, today I ask you, how do you define SUCCESS in your life? Will you be looking back as King Solomon did and ask yourself, "Why did I spend so much time doing THAT? Why did I continue chasing after the wind?"

I still struggle, and I always will, at keeping my pride in check and knowing that the condition of my heart is what I want it to be when I meet Jesus face to face. But, in that moment yesterday with my daughter, I had to do a little victory dance because THAT was SUCCESS for me, right there in that moment.

Pray:  Father God, this world can bombard us with temporary dreams and false idols.  Help us to take time with you in which we can truly see how you will measure our success when we meet you face to face. If you came back today and took us home with you, would we hear you say, "Well done good and faithful servant?" If not, then speak to our heart right now and show us Your Will. Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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