How Do You Spell Success?

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 The Message)

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Success follows me, wherever I go this year. Not because I am doing better than usual or have more wealth, but because I chose it. Success is my word for the year. My reflections on this word lead me to  it’s opposite term-failure. To understand or even fully experience success, I have noticed that failing is part of the deal. Failing and succeeding come through the experience of trial and error.

To define success, one must dig into the word succeed. To succeed means to achieve a desired result, to turn out well, to come after or to follow. (www.m-w.com)

Each nuance of meaning poses a question. What is my desired result? How will I know if it turns out well? What am I following? Is there a certain path for certain success? Maybe, I like this word because it has so much potential.

Success has so many faces, so many ways to be measured, and really only one way to be spelled. But I have noticed that without L-O-V-E, success fails to complete me. When I chose success as my guiding word, I was a bit surprised because it appears to have very little spiritual connotation. The first associations that come to mind are wealth and fame. But I am not really pursuing such things, I just want to do well in what has been set before me. I want to love my family and friends deeply and without regret. I desire to do my work, and help others find joy in their work. I do appreciate it when others notice me or applaud my efforts.

Success takes time. While I have been successful in some areas, others are neglected. The ebb and flow frustrates and fascinates me at the same time. On the outside my life looks fairly successful, and it is. It is unfolding nicely with lots of output and creativity and connections. But there still are nooks and crannies of my life that remain empty, and I long for fulfillment.

This is the first week in a few months that I have been able to slow down, to take a longer pause than the usual 10 seconds I grab here and there, as I go from place to place and from this obligation and to that recreation. And in these quiet moments, I wonder do I still want to be led by success? Yes, as long as love accompanies us. Because love never fails.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 4:7 ESV)

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