“Definition of Success”

“Definition of Success”

September 22, 2016

A department store would define success according to the number of sales and the profit margin. A stockbroker is considered successful if investments turn out to be profitable. A student feels successful when receiving a degree or landing a dream job.

I listened to a recently retired person talk about their career. After decades of effort in another country, they had the privilege of finally seeing the New Testament presented to the people of the village where they lived. Along with a co-worker, this person gave the best years of their life to writing a language and then translating the New Testament into that language.

The effort was finally completed. That village now has the New Testament in their own language. As I listened to the story of the process, and observed the emotion of the speaker, I noticed how carefully the Book was handled.

I thought about how many New Testaments, in addition to entire Bibles, I have on my shelves. I sometimes open them carelessly to find a passage. When one Bible gets worn, I get another one. I can even access the entire Bible on my smartphone – anytime and anywhere – and even look up words in the original languages.

After the meeting, I asked if I could hold that New Testament. I felt like I was turning the pages of someone’s life, because that book represented the best years of at least two people. And I thought about the definition of success. I thought about a huge increase in a stock market investment. I considered the stories of men and women who are credited with taking the Gospel to thousands of people.

But someone who gave their entire working years to getting a New Testament into the language of the people in a single village – is that a success story? Of course it is – both to the recipients of that Book and to the persons who obeyed Creator God and followed faithfully His call on their lives. God’s definition of success is obedience to His call. I am grateful for the reminder.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RECENT POSTS

It Is Time

By wvbaptist | June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

June 3, 2020 It was perhaps 18 years ago that a couple of people suggested I should write a weekly blog. I did not know what a “blog” was, but Ponder with Pastor Bill came out of that idea. It […]

Did Jesus Feel Confined?

By wvbaptist | May 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

May 20, 2020 It feels strange, almost wrong, for me to ask this question: How could the Creator and Controller of the universe be held in captivity by it? I hope I am not dabbling in something inappropriate, but this […]

Dark Cloud – Silver Lining

By wvbaptist | May 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

May 13, 2020 Creator God gives us a statement of beauty and hope when He puts a silver lining around a dark cloud in the sky. He reminds us that the darkness is temporary and there is something more powerful […]

Poder Increíble 

By wvbaptist | May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Meditación con el pastor Bill 6 de mayo de 2020 Sentado en mi silla de tratamiento esta semana frente a una ventana que me daba una vista para el Monte St. Helens, cubierto de nieve sobre un fondo azul cielo. […]

Amazing Power

By wvbaptist | May 6, 2020 | 1 Comment

May 6, 2020 My treatment chair this week faced a window that provided a frame for Mount St. Helens, covered with snow against a sky-blue background. It was a magnificent scene, and I had plenty of time to enjoy it […]

Scroll to Top