OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Success Means Different Things to Different People
By Gary Miller
Success in hunting or fishing is measured differently by each individual. Some consider each outing a success if fish or game is brought home. Others consider success by the opportunity to get away from work or to be with a family member or friend. And each trip may be different. It may be that today’s goal is to catch more fish than the other competitors while tomorrows pleasure will be found in watching a grandchild catch his first bluegill.
Success means different things to different people and in different situations. Most of the time, I measure success by the opportunity to be outdoors. If I’m blessed to harvest fish or fowl, it’s just icing on the cake. That doesn’t mean that I don’t hunt or fish hard. It’s simply that I’ve learned that most of my trips bear no edible fruit. For some people, this is not good enough. It seems they have a constant competition going on with others, and if they can’t match the wits of the television personalities, then their trip is a failure. Most of us measure other areas of our life the same way. The world we live in equates success with possessions, power, and popularity. We assume if any person has these, they must be successful.
If that is true, what does that say about most of us? It says we must be failures. True success, however, is not measured by these things. It is measured by obedience; namely our obedience to God. Did I do today what God wanted me to do? If I can answer this question in the affirmative, I was successful. It doesn’t matter if my performance was in front of thousands or one. It doesn’t matter if it took great skill or if I just handed a cup of cold water to someone in need. The scope of my service doesn’t matter to God. He only looks at my obedience. This means that none of us need ever look at what we do as menial or unimportant. It also means that we all have opportunities to succeed and that what we do will never be compared with anyone else. God created us all to succeed. This doesn’t mean our obedience is tied to our acceptance by God. It’s not. Please don’t make this assumption. Our obedience is not a requirement for our relationship, but only a result of it. This makes doing what God asks us to do a privilege and not an obligation. So, the next time God calls your number, know that not trying to set you up for failure, but for a great success.
Gary Miller can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.