Do You Want to Be Successful… Or Fruitful?
The menu for the Training Table this week is short, simple, and yet as wide, deep, and potentially transforming as any fare you might consider chewing on… ingesting… and using for the energy required for faithfully serving others, for the glory of God, and the blessing of all you run along side as you “run the good race” (Hebrews 12).
The World Screams SUCCESS! God Encourages FRUITFULNESS. How’s Your Heart and Hearing?
“There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit the grows through touching one another’s wounds. Let’s remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.” (Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith, Reading for January 4)
Practically from the moment many of us are born… or from a time and heritage and “the oughts of our home” well before that time… we are “the hopes of other’s expectations and dreams of SUCCESS”.
But, at what juncture do we question these voices, expectations, or “the world’s laudable or questionable criteria”… and begin to shape what the FRUITFULNESS of our life really consists of? Is success and fruitfulness mutually exclusive? I think not… But getting the order right requires some investment of our time, talents, and treasure.
Begin today! By being reminded of… or see for the first time… what success and/or frutifulness really means to you. It’s really a matter of life and death: Image Bearers are designed by God to br fruitul. “World Bearers” (the patterns of this world) seek after success. One is contingent. The other is existentially, intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically cogent! Choose this day (Joshua 24:25)!
It’s such an honor and so much fun, to be at the table with you!
Until we feast again,