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!

The Greatest Adventure! ( (Re blog from May 2014)

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grave

My heart is touched with sadness today. An old and precious friend has concluded his battle with cancer. As a fellow believer I rejoice is his present freedom from suffering, but feel a vacuum left by his passing, such men are rare.

He died as he lived with a peaceful heart surrounded by his family and mourned by friends without number the world over to whom he showed kindness, patience and a helping hand, (me included). Such a man needs no memorial stone to be remembered. I dedicate this next post to him through tears, but in joy that his free spirit is no longer confined to his bed.

  The Greatest Adventure! (A believer’s perspective)

Once all was clean and unsullied, fresh and new; mankind surveyed his domain. He walked childlike through creation, peeping through trailing vines, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and watching startled as birds took to the sky. Imagine the discoveries – of tastes, of textures, of rushing waterfalls and placid turquoise lakes, the mystery of the sunset, the glory of its rise…

Now it is jaded, much of the joy of discovery has ceased.

The world and creation are now mapped and cataloged, pictures flash on screen at the touch of a computer key, yet the heart of man still yearns for exploration, sometimes seeking it in perversity and corruption, but we have yet to begin to delve into the infinity of creation. Exploring one plain, the carnal, seeing from one viewpoint only, we’ve missed the infinite complexity of the universe. True science knows we see but the tip of the iceberg.

Death is a ticket to another dimension from which the view is very different, a startling realization of the infinite. At death one is freed from the restriction of the physical mindset so prevalent in this modern world. Casting off its former shackles, the spirit, that curious, exploring, creative element of man’s inner being, is finally free to explore infinite horizons of time and space. Free to come to God, at last casting off all confines of flesh, of time, of mortality.

No need to wait till we die, the door stands open, but to enter we must cast aside the glasses of conformity, surrender to the free wind of God’s spirit and let it awaken our senses in full, opening as a new bride to her lover, in trust, in expectancy of fulfillment. Then we’ll begin to comprehend the vastness of creation. Then we’d no longer fear death. The journey perhaps, but we would know the door, the portal to eternity.

“All men die, but only some truly live!” (Braveheart)

I’m glad my friend was one of them.

(Strange to re blog this now as I just heard another old friend has been hospitalized. This remarkable lady is also in the last stage of cancer. It brought forth an incredible sweetness in her and I know she is ready for the trip. It would be selfish of me to mourn yet I do feel sad that such precious souls cease to be among us.)

I am Vintage!

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sports car

Taking the bus yesterday due to an elasticated knee support and bandaged wrist I actually felt a little more like “the mummy” at least on my left side. Then a cute, little, vintage sports car passed by on the other side, canvas roof back, the owners proudly beaming. I thought, “They must have paid a lot of money for that and take real good care of it.”

Then it occurred to me maybe I should think of myself more like that car, that age can mean special! I thought of my granddaughter plying me for stories for her history blog, the old lady I’d met earlier who told me fascinating facts about the conservative little town where I live – that 50 years ago there’d been 42 pubs (if you saw how small my town is you would have been likewise astounded!) I remembered China where the older folks are venerated for their wisdom etc. (I quite enjoyed that lol!)

I realised perhaps I should substitute words like old, decrepit, ancient, with antique, vintage, and valuable. Sure the car took extra care, probably required quality fuel and frequent overhauls, but it seemed to run quite smoothly (as my body usually does) and was far more interesting than the newer models. So from now on I’m going to apply the word “vintage” to myself and forget those other more depressing labels.