I recently learned about the a prayer structure called a "collect" that works in the following way:
Describing an attribute of God
Making a request relevant to that attribute
Stating the reason for that request
Finishing in praise
I decided to try my hand at some of collects of my own, and I wrote this first one while in the battle of feeling worthless (despite "knowing" I'm not) because of what I lack "career-wise" (even though I know comparison knows no end) and with perhaps some uncertainty of who I am and how God feels about me thrown in. (I'm sure no one can relate, right?)
After journaling a couple dozen definitions of success that others have shared with me, I have found one of my own...at least temporarily. But first, here's the prayer. A Collect for Identifying Real Success
Masterful, complete, and abundant God, who guides kings’ heart like a watercourse wherever you desire and directs the steps of men with the light of your word;
who loves to give good gifts to your children,
who delights in seeing your image displayed in them through the gifting of your Spirit,
and who has created good works in advance for them to do,
help us to judge our success in your sight rightly and not by the metrics of this world, which is ruled by the accuser.
Let us see truthfully your love for us and through it, serve with all our muchness, using what you’ve graciously given us so that your body may be built up, growing into completeness into its head, that is Christ,
and that as we grow in love those hungry for love will be drawn like moths to the light of your son, Jesus Christ.
Since we are slaves to righteousness and our lives are not our own, help us to fervently complete our tasks and trust all their outcomes to you, in whose economy nothing- not even our failure- is wasted or lost.
Let us taste the sweetness of confidence in our calling so that you, God, are glorified in our joyful service. Amen.
And here's the "definition" of success I've landed on for myself for now. I'm sure I'll be cycling back around to it in a few months time...because changing thinking, well...that takes some work! I hope it will be helpful for you.
- Doing the work: using my gifts to display qualities of God and to benefit of others.
- Putting my all into a project so that I'm proud of it and choosing to be content with that regardless of the project's outcomes.
- Trusting God will provide what I need to walk the path he's directing for me, which is different from the paths of people around me.
- Living gratefully in the community I have: allowing them to support me and supporting them.
- Embracing gratefully the freedom I have to use my gifts and to feel God's presence and pleasure in the use of them.