Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

“Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
Albert Einstein

I ran into an old friend the other day at a football game. We were reminiscing about the first time we went to Romania 10 years ago. Neither of us could believe how much had changed in our lives over the past 10 years. As I reflect back over the past 10 years I think about these many changes. I have lived in a foreign country. I’ve received a doctorate. I’ve married the love of my life. I have two of the best kids in the world. That’s a pretty good start to my bucket list!

One cannot reflect upon the past without realizing real quick how much our life is “built upon the labors of our fellow men.” On this Labor Day of 2010 I want to take a second to pause and appreciate the sacrifices of so many that have impacted my life. The list of those that have built upon my life is way too long to list, but what I would rather do is honor them by attempting to give even half of what I have received from them.

This desire to “exert myself” as much as possible is what fuels me daily to see Red Page Ministries succeed. But just what exactly would I consider success? Success, from the world’s perspective, is the sum of who we are and what we achieve. Whether we will admit it or not, we have all dreamed of being successful! There is nothing ungodly about striving to be successful; however, it appears that we have skewed the idea of success to give it a worldly definition. We measure success by the size of our house, the zeros in our paycheck, or the title on our business card.

Success, from God’s perspective, is measured by our continued desire to become all He has planned for us. John C. Maxwell defines success as “knowing your purpose in life, sowing seeds that benefit others, and growing to your maximum potential.” As a fellow servant of Christ, our definition of success should be to accomplish what God has called us to do. Charles Stanley tells us that success will come to us when: the goals we set are God’s goals, we rely on God to give us the resources to achieve His goals, and our deepest motivation is to glorify God and know Him better. This is exactly what the Red Page Ministries team has set out to accomplish in the coming months: 1) Create Christ centered goals, 2) Rely on God to open doors for financial support to accomplish these goals, and 3) Glorify God in all that we do.

I guess you could say Ralph Waldo Emerson summed up success for us much better than I can.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”

To all my fellow men and women out there laboring to make this world a better place I say Thank You. Aspire to new heights.

No comments: