Redefining Success

“Do all your work in love.” (1 Cor. 16: 14)

“God, what does success look like to you in this situation?” I don’t know where I read this phrase, but I copied it on a sticky note and stuck it on my refrigerator. I see it when I’m tooling around the kitchen. Every time I do, it brings me back to what I truly believe is the reason all of us were put on this planet: love. Jesus told us the most important commandments were to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves. Do we really have something better to do than what God wants us to do? It sure seems like it, most of the time.

I went to my first writers’ conference some years ago, eager to pitch my first book proposal. The conference set up five minute author/publisher pitch appointments. It was a bit like speed-dating. Publishers sat stationed in the middle of a huge room all afternoon as a never-ending flow of budding authors streamed past them.

I was so nervous I could barely concentrate. Then a God-thought occurred to me: I’m not here to get a book contract. I’m here to love. The room was hot. One of the editors I spoke with had beads of sweat on her forehead. I wondered if it would be rude or against protocol to offer tissues to a sweating editor. I decided to treat her the way I’d want to be treated, pulled out a pack of tissues from my purse, and offered them to her. She smiled the first genuine smile I’d seen all afternoon. I felt less nervous. We were just two human beings in a hot auditorium together. Doing my work in love felt good. That editor didn’t offer me a book contract, but I think I was a success that day from God’s point of view.

Prayer: Lord, live your love through me today.
Reflection: How can you manifest love in whatever you do today?

© Barbara Hosbach, 2016

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach, freelance writer, is co-chair of the CJ Chapter of the Catholic Writers Guild and member of the Catholic Press Association. Hosbach’s articles have appeared in a number of Catholic periodicals. Her latest book, Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament, explores what happened when Jesus healed and what it means for us today. Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament and Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes

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