My family went to the New England States Exposition last weekend, and I was reminded of the difference between how God and the world view success.
We saw a 652 pound pumpkin! It was enormous and very impressive. The way you get a pumpkin to grow that big is by clipping off all the blossoms except one so that all the energy of the vine goes into that one plant.
The world defines success as being super-successful in one area, while being a dismal failure in other areas. That is clearly seen in the lives of the “rich and famous” who focus all their energies on one very specific area of their lives to the exclusion of others. They may make a lot of money – but don’t give much away. Or become famous for a particular activity while their personal relationships with family members, friends and others are woefully deficient.
God, on the other hand, views success as a balanced life with a moderate degree of “success” in many areas. We should make enough money to provide for the needs of our family and give some away to others. We should do our work with excellence, but not fanaticism. We should spend time with family members, friends and others to build meaningful relationships that are not one-sided.
The first time I saw one of those giant pumpkins at a county fair, I asked the person in charge why more growers don’t do that. He explained that they don’t really taste very good, and they are extremely difficult to move. “About the only thing they are really good for,” he said, “is showing off!”