Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Defining Success

It is 7:45am. At 9pm, what would constitute today having been a successful day?

Generally it is my un-stated view that things such as
these would be the sorts of things I'd want to aim for:
  • getting somewhere through my to-do list
  • having had a quiet time
  • having done some decent work
  • not having been too rude / unsympathetic / n-Xn to anyone
  • having had a good blend of work & relaxation
  • etc, etc...
Which, having been written down, look precisely as they should: worldly, short-sighted, works-focussed, certainly not God-focussed, etc...

It is now 9:50pm (not sure that makes any difference, but there you go - I had to save this thought to finish off later, due to the delights of 4hrs considering Christian Eschatology, and various other aspects of term-time).

Is it not the case that a successful day is one spent:
  • loving Jesus, in conscious communion with him
  • focussing on heaven/Glory
  • fighting the fight of faith
  • contending for God's glory
  • obeying God's purposes
  • learning useful stuff
  • putting into practice what I've learnt, or at least beginning to
  • etc, etc...
No doubt you could write a better list here, but the point remains... So often I just have a wrong concept of success. I thus aim for the wrong thing(s), celebrate the wrong thing(s), and so on. I need to work on this. What does God most want for me from today? What is next on the list? and so on...

And, of course, Gospel-driven success lists are full of grace and mercy (see here).

As well as doing this ourselves, I guess we can encourage each other by longing for these latter types of success first and foremost - asking those questions and celebrating those 'yes' answers rather than just doing our slightly Christian version of everything the world runs after - running after Christian things in a worldy way, as it were...

But this bites in another way, I think. We need to make sure the urgent doesn't get in the way of the important. That means we need to plan, need to deliberately not do certain things, and certainly need a concept of our 'top ten' priorities against which to measure / consider our diaries. I've tried working up such a list, which is hard. But I'm trying not to use my business as an excuse not do do such hard work because I am convinced that I need to do it - if you see vaguely what I mean!


Anonymous Amanda said...

so just where are you placed this year then? a bit of a come down from last year I guess?

11:06 pm, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might list A not provide certain important concrete applications of list B? The problem being when we think of list A abstracted from Christ?

5:36 pm, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Andrew said...

Agree - meant to say something like that, but forgot... I wasn't aiming to reject List A.

I think the issue is where things come and in what order. As soon as you're saying list A is fine not abstracted from Christ, how close are you to putting list B first anyway?

9:37 am, September 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely. But I do need the specifics of list A in order to give shape to list B.

1:49 pm, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Andrew said...


2:03 pm, September 15, 2006  

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