This Week's Truth

Success

Sunday, December 22, 2019
Obedience

        Success in hunting or fishing is measured differently by each individual. Some consider each outing a success if fish or game is brought home. Others consider success by the opportunity to get away from work or to be with a family member or friend. And each trip may be different. It may be that today's goal is to catch more fish than the other competitors while tomorrows pleasure will be found in watching a grandchild catch his first bluegill. Success means different things to different people and in different situations. Most of the time, I measure success by the opportunity to be outdoors. If I'm blessed to harvest fish or fowl, it's just icing on the cake. That doesn't mean that I don't hunt or fish hard. It's simply that I've learned that most of my trips bear no edible fruit. For some people, this is not good enough. It seems they have a constant competition going on with others, and if they can't match the wits of the television personalities, then their trip is a failure.

         Most of us measure other areas of our life the same way. The world we live in equates success with possessions, power, and popularity. We assume if any person has these, they must be successful. If that is true, what does that say about most of us? It says we must be failures. True success, however, is not measured by these things. It is measured by obedience; namely our obedience to God. Did I do today what God wanted me to do? If I can answer this question in the affirmative, I was successful. It doesn't matter if my performance was in front of thousands or one. It doesn't matter if it took great skill or if I just handed a cup of cold water to someone in need. The scope of my service doesn't matter to God. He only looks at my obedience. This means that none of us need ever look at what we do as menial or unimportant. It also means that we all have opportunities to succeed and that what we do will never be compared with anyone else. God created us all to succeed. This doesn't mean our obedience is tied to our acceptance by God. It's not. Please don't make this assumption. Our obedience is not a requirement for our relationship, but only a result of it. This makes doing what God asks us to do a privilege and not an obligation. So, the next time God calls your number, know that not trying to set you up for failure, but for a great success.

Gary Miller
gary@outdoortruths.org

Success

Sunday, February 21, 2016
Handling Success

               Many of my fellow fishermen are heading to Alabama to get in on the great crappie fishing. They offer some of the best during the winter months. The stories I've heard lately have made me start planning my own trip.     I've made the trek to Lake Weiss a few times before but it's been years. I can remember nights in a lakeside motel, suppers in the marina diner, and days of fishing with only a break for lunch. The locals always seem willing to help a stranger out with the latest news on what the fish are biting. I always took notice of their hospitality. As you may know, that doesn't happen a lot when you're fishing for bass. There, you're on your own.        On one such trip, I had the opportunity to go with an elderly man and his sons. Our senior partner was the unchallenged patriarch of his big family. He had gained their respect through the years by example in being a good husband, father, in business, generosity, and in his simple kindness to everyone he met.  He was a man of means but carried himself with a thankful humility.  We caught very few fish on that trip but every time I think about catching crappie in Alabama, I think of my time there with him.

            Very few people can deal with success. I believe for every ten individuals who can handle adversity, there is only one who can handle success.      When adversity comes in our life we tend to move closer to God. We need Him then. We cry out to Him about the difficulties and dilemmas that are beyond our resources and abilities. We want Him to do what we cannot do for ourselves. Success means that everything is going our way. Our health is good. Our family is safe and secure. Our billfold is full. Our resources and our abilities are seeing us through. How many of us draw nearer to God during times like these? Very few. Most of us just cruise along without giving much more than a weekend thought about the One who is the Giver of all good things. For most, success is a taskmaster that demands all of our thoughts, treasure, and time.

            Is life going pretty good for you right now? If it's not, take it to God. He cares for you. If it is, take it to God as well. Not with just a token "thank you," but with a humble hunger to know Him more and more even through the best of times. If you can do that you will be in an elite class of those who God can bless with even more.  

            Gary Miller
            gary@outdoortruths.org


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