Success = fear + hope

Joining the Five Minute Friday writing community thanks to my friend Amy Taylor, who you can visit over here. Each Friday writers receive a prompt to write on for five minutes. A good exercise for someone like me, whose head is always full of words that seldom find their way to the screen, and whose inner editor never rests. Oh well, here goes!

Today’s question: What is success?

I know what I want to say I use to measure success. But honesty compels me to say it like it is: My idea of success is driven by my fear and hope. Do they like me? Am I good enough? What are they thinking? Do I measure up? Am I loved? Wanted? Seen? These questions drive me. My world could be falling apart around me, but if I felt secure in the answers to these questions, I would be able to face anything.

The trouble is that the questions never go away. The fears may be soothed by a positive experience, but soon they rear up again, like a hungry beast demanding food. Never satisfied for long. I look to people for the answers to these questions, and people always fail me.

This is what God has to say about success:

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,

nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;

the Lord delights in those who fear him,

who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 147:10-11

The outcome of my fear and hope depends on who I am measuring: Him, or me?—and on who is measuring me: them, or Him?

First, fearing Him, not myself. Holding Him in reverence. Second, hoping in His unfailing love, not theirs. Waiting for and expecting it.

Hmmm. I think if I found Him in these words, I would have the answers to my questions, and my hungry beast would sleep.


6 thoughts on “Success = fear + hope

  1. I’m glad you joined in with FMF – this is a great post!
    I especially love this line: “The fears may be soothed by a positive experience, but soon they rear up again, like a hungry beast demanding food.” It’s so true that success can satisfy us for a while but it’s never enough and the questions and doubts resurface.
    Seeking to find our security in God is much better in the end. Visiting from FMF #9.


    1. Hey Lesley! Thank you so much for taking time to read and respond. It’s funny–your post was the one I randomly clicked on first to check out what others were saying. I’m so glad you visited my post in return. I like your point, “Sometimes the success is not in the achievement, but in the perseverance.” I need to remember that God’s measure of success is much different than mine. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie. I don’t say it nearly enough but I stand in awe of you. Your talents and your passion make you glow. You have such an impact on those around you….do you not see how people and programs fall apart without you? Remember God is pouring through you whether you recognize it or not. I love you and being in your presence.
    Thanks for posting your blog so I can hear from your heart

    Sent from my iPhone


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