By: Jana Greene / thebeggarsbakery.net
You might be a big fish
In a little pond Doesn’t mean you’ve won
‘Cause along may come
A bigger one – Coldplay, Lost
Fill in the blank: When I finally achieve ______________, I will be_____________.
Accomplishment…it is a slippery little sucker. Once you catch it, it tends to wriggle free. I think I know what success is, but the definition keeps changing. But I’m learning not to compare myself to others. If God doesn’t compare us to one another, why do I?
My “fill-in-the-blanks” have changed many times:
When I finally achieve career success, I will fit in.
In the business world, while others were striving to reach the next rung on the ladder, I was just trying to keep from tripping over myself on the ground. The message at the office is: the work world is how you measure your success – and a large portion of society confirms that it must be true. But there is very little requirement in corporate America for creativity. While others were making money and enjoying the fruits of their labor, I felt like my fruits were dying on the vine. I was such a square peg forced into a round hole even my successes weren’t really mine. They were the achievements of a round-shaped square peg, whittled down to conformity in order to fit.
When I finally achieve my ideal weight, I will be happy with myself.
This is a biggie (no pun intended) with most women I know. At different stages of my life, I have been heavy and I have been thin. Here in the middle (and middle-aged) is not where consider my body ideal, but I have to be honest with myself. In the skinny years, I found a myriad of other ways to be unhappy with my body. Fitting into size six jeans was nice, but all the while I was thinking, “Another gray hair!” while hating this feature or another. Those goals I set for myself that seem so important often fail to satisfy.
When I finally achieve organization, I will be a better writer.
Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I’ve decided that I will one day become an organized person. I will sit at my desk, which will have all of my resources handy (dictionary, thesaurus, extra printer paper, highlighters) and utilize Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and scheduling features. My desk would not appear to be the workplace of a mad scientist who decided to take up writing Haiku…..half-drunk cups of coffee, sharpies missing lids, a random cat wandering across the keyboard. But as it is, my desk is never clean and orderly. It is covered in yellow post-it notes that proclaim messages like “Next Tuesday” and “Why snails have strong faith” or “7”…things that I am sure will later jog a writing idea but usually don’t, because I’ve forgotten why I wrote them down in the first place. I’m not even sure my computer has Outlook.
So, I keep asking God, what can I achieve for you? What can I accomplish as Your child?
After all, he knows me best. He knows that I am no businesswoman. He knows that I carry a little fluff around, that I am messy and disorganized. He is ok with these and a million other personality and character attributes belonging only to me, and the defects? He is helping me work through those.
He always finds me, even under the striving to please others – even in my most vain and selfish pursuits. I sense my Creator saying often to my spirit, “Little fish….how did you get in there? No wonder you are miserable – you are in the wrong pond!”
He created me. He should know! The definition of the true measure of success in Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
When I achieve surrender to God I will be successful. Accomplished. And most likely, covered in yellow sticky notes.