Ah...success. Not always what you see...but does it smell? What ever do you suppose success smells like? I thought I hadn't a clue but after some thinking I decided that I might.
Success can be defined as:
The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted.
The gaining of fame or prosperity.
Recently we watched a clip of a couple who had been married 80 years...they married in 1932, long before most of you were born. M and I were babies! They were told it wouldn't last...but here they are at 101 and 97...that smells like success to me!
They were much like the two of us; they didn't have much money but what they had was much more valuable...their apparent lasting love for each other. I imagine they smell pretty sweet.
Success in overcoming all the pitfalls that you encounter...and there are always more than enough...meeting them head on and surviving in one piece. Possibly a few scars to show for it...but scars can fade.
Success in seeing children grow into mature, wonderful people...making a positive difference in their surroundings, physical and spiritual. Emulating their parents...honoring them. Smells good, right?
Recently our oldest son was flying to California and he texted me:
"The Book says, 'honor your father and mother'...consider yourself honored." I don't cry much but things like that really move me...I shed a few in love.
"Every success is an opportunity to stay humble." Terry Mark
Part of success could be that our four sons respect us and always have. They are in their late fifties and very early sixties...from the get-go, they have never once given either of us any lip/back talk/guff/disrespect. That smells like some success to me...oh yes!
I suppose flying around the world...alone...shaking in fear...and making it would mean some success to me, personally. I never liked doing anything alone and yet, I've done it...because? Because, my love asked me to come see him in Ethiopia because he was so lonesome and he thought I needed some R&R after two emergency surgeries. M smelled wonderfully sweet...mmm!
Success was not getting lost or missing my flight in JFK...not being abducted in the hotel in Athens, Greece by two Ethiopian Air Force officers who tried to have dinner with me and take me to the Plaka (Athens night life mecca).
Success making it home via Cairo and hundreds of machine-gun toting militia...coupled with sitting on the tarmac while passengers prayed to Mecca. Some flights had a few chickens, etc. mixed in for a different smell of success!
For so many years I was scared someone was going to 'look' at me...
my feet shook so hard my shoes made knocking noises on the floor...yikes...be quiet feet...or was it my legs that made my feet shake. Could've been my entire body...yes, that was it. Ha! No where to hide.
I decided I must have some crazy sort of magnet embedded somewhere in my bod. I would be innocently listening to a lady seminar speaker when she would suddenly say, " I need a volunteer to lead a prayer, please" and she'd fixate on my eyes...my insides were doing the "Oh, please don't look at me...look over there at anyone else but me." Didn't work, I ended up doing it (with a tremor in my voice, of course...and only God knows what I prayed, I don't).
Success comes with tiny steps...at least in my case! Little by little...and not at all obvious. I ended up teaching classes of Chinese university students...how could that have happened?
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
It is the courage to continue that counts."
So, to me...success smells like fresh air, clean and clear after a rain...relief from pressure...the ability to get on with it...a feeling that I am loved and have someone important caring for me...mmm, smells good to me! I am humbled.
From my heart...to yours,