I linked this blog to a friend's page, and then realized I haven't updated it with the information that would be pertinent. So, without further ado, a musing:
I was hometeaching someone two days ago. For non-Mormon readers, there's a church program where each member is visited monthly by two people assigned to look out for them. Everybody has an assignment, too - it's a way for the members of the Church to support each other and lend assistance. Often, however, the one giving the service or lesson is the one helped most. So it was this week with me.
There is a "stock" lesson material distributed throughout the Church each month, but those who are being taught are encouraged to talk about something they are personally thinking about instead. One of my home-teachees asked me and my hometeaching companion to talk about time management, of all things, and so we changed our lesson plan on the fly, and dove in.
I felt the Spirit strongly, in a peaceful way - but I did not feel like I should talk about daily planning. Home teaching and missionary work are both wonderful experiences for me - I feel the Lord's presence in my mind and heart, guiding me on how to teach more effectively. My teaching still isn't perfect, but I am reminded that the Lord is there and that He cares about us.
Anyway, I felt impressed to talk, not about time management, but success - success from a godly perspective. I am an entrepreneur, and am experiencing all the attendant turmoils of starting a company as a young man. In that, I have often felt like a failure - because I am not making the same amount of money some of my peers earn, or because I do not have steady income, or because some days it is a battle to structure my life effectively. I had been praying, for days, before that lesson about why things were as they were, why I wasn't succeeding, why I was still desperately poor, about why, why, why... and how to move forward.
In the lesson, I heard myself saying, "God's view of success is very different from ours. Following Him needs to be our top priority - and if we're doing that to the best of our abilities, whatever happens IS success. Even if our company fails, and we're out on the street, and we have to declare bankruptcy, if we're doing what God asks of us to do, we are succeeding. God has plans that don't often make sense to us, and so if we're following Him, we'll go through things that we don't understand. But that doesn't mean we have failed."
I was reminded of a lesson from Elder's Quorum the previous week: "God asks each of us to contribute to the Kingdom in different ways - of some, He gives great wealth and expects financial resources, of others, emotional resources - like a someone listening to others who need help. Others, He takes away their job and closes doors, so that they can plausibly serve in the temple. The point is to do the best we can to serve God with what we have, whatever we have - and if we do that, we have success."
My companion brought up some tender personal experiences I didn't know about in that regard; we talked about how triage is not failure.
In all, it answered my questions, and removed my doubts. It renewed my faith.
To my friend who I linked here: if you read this, I don't know that this will help. But I do know that whatever happens, if we keep following God, we have succeeded. You will have succeeded. And I know that God knows each of us personally, and cries with us when we cry, and rejoices with us in our happiness. And I hope that helps, at least a little.