There’s an old saying amongst some of my human friends about how to succeed in life. Apparently, you only need three things; -a wish bone, a backbone and a funny bone! And yes, I suppose that luck, strength and a sense of humour are all important things in everyday life. But that’s certainly not the whole story, and perhaps some of you humans need to slow down, then stop and then have a think, like I do on my perch each day. Because what kind of ‘success’ will these three things bring us? The trouble is that many humans measure success in terms of wealth, status, fame and power. Humans like to worship their pop stars, their Presidents, their sports stars and their business tycoons because in the eyes of the world, they have all ‘made it.’ They’ve come out on top of the pile, in a frenzied human rat race which has over eight billion participants. But what have they really achieved? For example, is Elon Musk any more successful than a penniless refugee trying to cross the English Channel? Or is a New York toilet cleaner of a lower status than former President Trump? (And yes, I know there are many humans that would rather have the toilet cleaner as their President). But what do God and Jesus think?
Well, Christians believe that real success is measured in our ability to find God and secure our place in Heaven after we die. That is ultimate success. Jesus came to Earth with nothing. Although He had power, He kept it in check and lived in humility. And that’s because He had what really mattered, -the spirit of God inside Him. And in order to be ‘successful,’ that’s what we all need as well. After all, a rich human is nothing more than a poor human with money. A President is nothing but a flawed human with power and responsibility. And a sports star is nothing more than an ordinary human that has been given some additional gifts by God. Yes, these things may seem wonderful during our lifetimes here on Earth, and many folk may worship us and inflate our egos. But for how long does it last? A worldly life is but a brief flash in the dark when compared to the expanse of eternity. And in God’s world, the unknown human, the toilet cleaner, the refugee and the pauper sleeping rough, -they all have the same opportunity to secure what really matters. To find God and to enter into Heaven and live a forever life of complete and utter joy.
“Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one.”
(A. W. Tozer: [1897-1963]: American pastor and author)
“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.” (Corrie ten Boon: [1892-1983]: Christian writer and survivor of a nazi concentration camp)
“You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.”
(Charles Spurgeon: [1834-1892]: English Baptist preacher, still referred to today as the ‘Prince of Preachers’)
Ultimately, it’s doing God’s work here on Earth that will make us most successful….
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can!"
(John Wesley [1703-1791]: English theologian and evangelist and leader of the Methodist Church)
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.”