Success and meaning

Where does meaning come from?


It depends.  Some of the factors that contribute to the meaning in our lives are generalizable- they are the same for everyone.  Some of the factors are specific to your personality.  Some are specific to your interests.  Meaning is the product of a confluence of factors from basic human needs (love, connection) to hobbies and interests.  The launching point, though, is our submission to a power greater than ourselves. 


Submitting to the God of our understanding (for us at NSC, the God of the Bible), orients us.  God, as the giver of all good gifts, offers us a new self and works on our behalf to conform us to his image such that our lives are not defined by their "successes" or "failures" (as our culture sees them) but by our dedication to reflecting his love to the world around us.  (Side note: I know plenty of us do not feel we are particularly dedicated to this.  I do not say this so that we can shame ourselves for how we fall short of this goal- the simple art of trying to live into being a person crafted in God's image is the goal- not becoming a "perfect" person.) 


Success, from the standpoint of faith, means learning to accept this new version of the self that God is trying to offer.  We learn to prioritize grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, gentleness, patience, and so on, because there is no more worthy calling than to point, in small, humble ways, to the new, hopeful reality God brings to the world.