Nona L. Brooks
Why have we always looked upon successful people of the world with wonder in our eyes? Perhaps, we have even added in a whisper, "How did they do it?" Our tendency has been to wrap veils of mystery around success, and to think of it as an achievement of a favored few. Now we know that man is, by nature, a success, because he is a son of God. Success is the normal; it is the rule in the kingdom of God; hence, the successful man is a normal man. As long as we are thinking in terms of the visible only, we are likely to look upon everything that is not common to most men as a mystery. Achievement and attainment are synonyms of success; falling short is an antonym. The question is, in which phase of Life Universal must we succeed in order to be thought of as a success? Sometimes you and I pass the successful man by without a nod of recognition, because he has no outer accumulations of material possessions to mark him in the eyes of the world. Let us learn to know success, when we see it; we find true success in the lives that are lived with highest purpose.
We feel that we are very certain of the mission of man as man, the generic man. Wilberforce says, "Man is the outburst of God." I like to think that we are spontaneous expressions of Divine Love because this love could not contain itself for joy--the joy of giving. Man must be a wonderous outburst, when we remember that God can bring forth nothing unlike himself. Divinity has a divine mission to fulfill; man by nature of his Divinity is here to cooperate. We must have faith in the process of daily living, for we are impelled by the Power within to work up and on until we reach a fuller realization of truth. Every man is responsible for living his own life to the highest that he knows, and he has even a greater opportunity and obligation that this, that of taking his part in the fulfillment of the mission of the whole. Humanity can not fulfill its mission perfectly, unless you and I do our parts. The good of the whole is the purpose of the life of the individual.
There is also a special something for which individual life is destined. Everyone has his or her particular mission. Each one of us has his significance in the plan of the Universal. There is this danger in the thought process of the man who believes that he has a mission; he may think that he is intended for a big work, something important in the eyes of the world, and that fulfilling of his mission means journeying into far places, when the greatest work he can do lies right at his door. A mission sounds like a call to something greater than we are doing in our daily lives, while it really means realizing more definitely the truth that we know just where we are.
There are many men fulfilling their missions out of sight of the world. Always take into consideration when you are endeavoring to understand the meaning of success, that he who lives quietly and steadfastly true to the truth that he knows is attaining as much and is as important a part of the universal plan, as is the platform speaker or any other outstanding man. Jesus more than any one else knew his mission, and fulfilled it. His was the successful life. Best of all he fulfilled his mission in his daily living; it was in the experiences of the day that he proved himself a son of God. He did not fail in the little things, those details which many of us consider insignificant.
I like to think of Jesus at the carpenter's bench with his difficulties much like ours--a normal lad learning of his father, preparing to do his work, and after his father is gone, feeling as the eldest son of the family, the responsibility for his mother and brothers and sisters. I know that Jesus did his part; he did not falter in the carrying out of his part in the domestic conditions, nor did he consider this responsibility a handicap. I picture him at his work which, I am sure, was always done accurately. As Jesus stood at the carpenter's bench he doubtless knew that there would come a time when his life would open into wider service; but he did not neglect the thing at hand for the vision of the thing beyond. Integrity and love were applied to every experience of his life.
Think of the mark Jesus left upon the world in three short years of public ministry. I like to think of the way he attained to the great influence he has left upon daily living. I enjoy thinking of him in his free times, wandering in joyousness over the hills of Galilee, loving all that God had made and was making. What was the mission of Jesus? Isaiah gives it as the office of the Christ--to be a light unto the world; to do the will of God; to preach the gospel to the poor; to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives. This is the mission of the Christ in every man, but Jesus fulfilled his perfectly. What is the individual mission as we analyze it? I am the light of the world--it is then our part to shine forth in the radiance of love. Are we doing it? Jesus told us that he came into the world that men might have life and have it more abundantly. Did not you and I come into the world for this purpose? Are we realizing life for ourselves and for others more abundantly? There are broken hearts to bind up, and there are also broken world conditions to be mended. Let us help bind up the wounds by living true, thinking true, and speaking true to the principle of Omnipresence. Are we so living that our lives are preaching deliverance to the captives--those who are bound by limitations of sin, sickness, poverty and fear? We have been sent to attain. There is for us a Divine Intent; our lives must show it forth. It is your and my mission to stand forth and live truth. You and I are centers of light; keep the light shining. We are witnesses of the truth of Godís immediate Presence as life, health, beauty, goodness, truth, and joy. We can never bind up the broken hearted by weeping with them over their wounds; but we can heal their wounds by realizing truth for them. We must not weep over the sins of the world, if we would release those that are bound in the prison house of sin. We must greet them with love that is triumphant over all else. Jesus says, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Truly as children of God we have a right to health, supply, happiness, position, and all else that is good. Are we thinking in terms of real success? Have we ever thought that there might be a secondary success? Are we sacrificing the real success for it? It is the getting of outer things that obscures our vision often. If we can keep our vision clear and true, we shall see true success--the inner triumph that comes from realization. When we understand the true success, we shall choose that line of work which gives most to the world instead of to us as individuals. When an experience that comes to us makes it necessary that we should decide upon a course of action, we shall have the wisdom to choose that course which leads us to the good of the whole.
Faithfulness is essential to the successful life. We are told that those who are faithful unto the end shall receive a crown of life. Death is the word used, but I believe that it can be interpreted to mean the end of a process of life. The overcoming of self-seeking, of wrong habits, of temper, of instability, is accomplished by faithfulness. That something which does not really belong to you will pass, if you are faithful to the end of the process of overcoming. What is this crown of life that is promised to us? It is the realization of life more abundant, more glorious, more deeply understanding. It is the certainty that all power in heaven and earth is ours, if we are true to the principle of Omnipresence. Success, the normal state of a son of God, is your heritage and mine, and the successful life is the one that realizes the glory of its heritage. The man who fulfills his mission realizes his oneness with God in all his ways, and solves the mystery of success.
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