Saturday, March 10, 2012

Success-what's your definition?

This summer is my high school reunion. While my classmates are talking about how old we are, I'm the young one in most of my current friendships, so that's not what I've been thinking about. What's been on my mind as I think about seeing people from high school (many for the first time since we graduated) is what our perception of each other will be upon meeting again and learning the life directions of our peers. When we graduate from high school and go off "into the world" as they say, we all aim to be successful. For many small-town graduates, I think "success" conjures images of lucrative careers, travel, perhaps an attractive spouse and a fashionable home and car.
My senior year of high school, I was voted the "Female Most Likely to Succeed" for the yearbook. I think students had the understanding that this was just the politically correct way of saying "the one with the best grades." I have always enjoyed learning new things and God blessed me with "school brains" so most subjects came pretty naturally. I also worked hard. Combine those things with my type "A" perfectionist personality and for better or worse, I was labeled the smart kid, teacher's pet, nerd. With those titles, I didn't have a lot of bosom friends, though I was respected by my peers, thus the yearbook title. However, I would wager to say that the majority of the students who voted for me would not look at my life now and say I am the most successful. My teachers, who had expectations of me being a doctor, scientist, writer, or engineer would probably be disappointed and see a waste of talent. Would they be right? Sometimes, after a particularly rough day of potty training, arguing with my toddler over meals or bedtimes or the 5th load of laundry, I question what life would have been like had I chosen to pursue a different degree/career path (or professionally used the one I have). However, it doesn't take long before God reminds me that His definition of success is so much different than that of the world. Had I followed others' plans for my life, I would not have been faithful to the job God had in mind for me or my own desires. I didn't go into college aspiring to be a career woman or make a lot of money. My goal at the time was the same as it is now. I simply desired to be where God wanted me to be, growing in my relationship with Him and doing what He wanted me to do. If I am fulfilling those three things, than I believe I am being successful. There's a chance that someday I will go on to get my Master's degree or work more outside the home, but for right now, I am proud to be Pastor Dave's wife, Callie's almost full-time stay-at-home-mom, and most importantly lover of God available for His use.

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