What is success?

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What do you picture when you think of a successful person? Media prompting – we’ll most likely picture a well healed business man/woman dressed in the best money can buy, or maybe a celebrity living the high life in a palatial mansion. I’d challenge that concept though.

Firstly the notion of success first requires a choice of what goal you desire to be successful in. Talking to young people, I’ve noticed an alarming trend to simply accept the goals promoted so often in the media (as stated above) without conscious thought or choice, often not even perceiving there are other goals. This is a mistake, not only because not all are fitted for these particular callings (thank God!) and may feel discouraged and lacking when they can’t attain them, but also the ones who do succeed have a tendency to be the saddest, most miserable of mortals.

There’s a great saying – “Before you climb the ladder of success make sure it’s leaning against the right wall!”

I like my son’s goal – to marry and make a happy family (sadly he’s yet to achieve that one having discovered you need a woman with the same goal – his ex being a bit of a gold digger!) Then there are my daughters’ goals. Some went for financial goals and succeeded, (it came at a price though – it always does). One choose ethical teaching ( succeeding and becoming a successful business woman as a result, without compromising her integrity). Another wanted to help her autistic son realize all he could of his potential (I honor her choice highest of all.) She’s succeeding miraculously but there was a lot of sacrifice involved. My youngest wants to leave something of value behind in the way of literature (she’s still setting out.) Even in my own family goal can vary greatly.

I have a second reason also to challenge the accepted notion of success. As a Christian (and human being) I believe in the end we are rated on our degree of love, humanity and integrity. Whether you believe appraisal will come in a look of pity and disappointment by an all loving God or the legacy you leave behind in the way of fond (or not so fond) memories.

I somehow don’t think most financial high fliers and celebrities are going to score high on those ratings. I rather see the struggling, single mum, the street sweepers who greet everyone with a sunny smile on the rainiest of days, the relief worker who cries himself to sleep under the weight of care for others, these are the one’s I see who are the real successes of life, who bring a radiant smile to the eyes of God, who are treasured in the lives of others.

So don’t feel bad if you don’t see yourself as “successful” maybe you score higher than you know!

Want a changed life?

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Someone once said if you want to change your life start with you. I’d go one step further, when we change our perspective we change ourselves and our world. So much is in how we perceive things. If you think you’ll fail you probably will, and vice versa.

I heard a very inspired young man yesterday trying to express how he came to understand from certain verses that we are in God’s image, that our value comes from Him, and how realizing that gave him faith to pray for the sick.

I love to see young people inspired particularly, as in this instance, to be a channel for God’s healing power etc. My friends and I listening were in our sixties, had been through the lumps and bumps of life. We could have smothered his fire in “wisdom” and “experience” but no one did. He doesn’t need our perspectives, perhaps we need his (or a measure of the two). I remember when I too saw life as the great adventure with no impossibilities. Bathed in the knowledge of God’s love I feared nothing.

Now with age and responsibility comes caution, limitations, but in my heart of hearts I know these things to be illusions. Nothing is impossible if you can just believe it so (though some thing take longer to come to pass lol!) We warmed our hearts at his fire, remembering, but saying nothing of our own exploits content to enjoy the brilliance of his joyful flame of life.

 

fear, the modern epidemic?

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Of course there’s a balance to this statement. Wisdom and caution can be good, but fear itself is never good, whether founded or unfounded, it debilitates us. Whether its a result of age or simply that fear is more prevalent these days I find myself having to deal with it more both in my own life and that of others.

It’s probably a combination of both, at least in the west, our society tends to be protective in many ways. We are encouraged to give the thief our wallet, to phone the police and stay locked in our room when being burgled, not to get involved etc. and health and safety laws are everywhere. I sometimes think back to my childhood when no one worried about being “politically correct”, when any adult seeing you misbehaving would take you to task, when any able bodied man would tackle the guy running off with the handbag. Nowadays a would be hero may even find himself doing time for accosting a robber and a policeman dare not put a comforting arm around a distraught crime victim for fear of being charged with sexual harassment! While I appreciate these attempts to keep us safe I also wonder if we have not gone so far as to become dis-empowered?

Sickness tends to be much the same, we give responsibility for our health to the doctor often imagining the worst while pouring over tales in social media. My conclusion? A life lived in fear is no life at all. While I’m all for caution fear is the enemy and makes out lives miserable.

When stories take wings.

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Micheal Angelo said there was a sculpture in every block of marble just waiting to be released. As a sculptor in my youth I felt that was a great way to express it.
Now I write rather than sculpt (more practical with no studio) but I sometimes feel it’s the same with stories. It’s like you just turn a key, the door opens and it becomes like dictation, the stories reveal themselves to you.
My present book has been even more extreme of late. I wake with ideas popping
that seem to enlarge themselves on the page, interlocking like a layered jigsaw, creating deeper characters, more intricate plot and getting me so excited I don’t want to stop writing (hence the aforementioned timer lol.)
My other two books were also somewhat like taking dictation, but this one seems to just burst upon me in multicolored fireworks, like watching a movie unfold with my merely taking effortless notes for the script.
They used to talk of a “muse” that gave writers inspiration. That idea is not so common these days, but I could well imagine some heavenly force showing clips, pictures, and flowing script which I, a mere scribe, jot down for others to partake of.
I’m having so much joy in this other things are getting a little neglected. So please excuse my sporadic blogging of late, I’m in love with writing this story! lol!
(Much love to my fellow authors, long may we write!)