Sunday, October 28, 2007

Successful or Significant: Part 1

Being a success is a drive for many people. That is why so many "success" books are written each year, and why they are on the topsellers lists all the time. People are driven to be successful. The challenge is to know what constitutes success. For most people, you can never have enough, or get far enough. And so they never reach the finish line.
In the month of October, I preached a sermon series using themes from Bob Buford's book "From Success to Significance." In this book, management Expert Peter Drucker says that, "Success does not necessarily mean a substantial fortune or even great worldly success. But it does mean something that those in earlier times simply did not know; achievement...." Over my next few blogs, I want to talk about why it is more important to seek to be significant, than successful.
Saint Augustine said that asking yourself the question of your own legacy— (What do I wish to be remembered for?) —is the beginning of adulthood. In thinking about our epitaph we identify ourselves as someone with a purpose and a passion. As I think about my epitaph, I think I would like it to say: 'Well done, good and faithful servant of the Lord.' I want to be remembered for being a person who was loving, and who lived my life in service to God, trying to make a difference with who I am and what I do. How about you?
If you know anything about the parable of the sower, you know that it is about recognizing that we have been given many things from God, and receiving what we have been given, and then allowing that to become fruitful in our lives. To be significant in this way means that we don’t allow the worries of the world to make us depressed or anxious; it means that we don’t allow ourselves to be selfish, causing us to be shallow; it means that we don’t let the heartache of life cause us to be bitter and hard and choke off God from working in our lives. We need to dare to believe that we can achieve great things with our lives, and that ultimately we can have a great impact on this world.