Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True Greatness

If anything has stuck with me from my old career girl days in corporate leadership development, it is the truth that much of a person's success in life depends on intentionality. As Lewis Carroll said, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." Likewise Steven Covey said, " ‘It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life, trying to climb the ladder of success, only to find that when you get nearer the top it’s up against the wrong wall."

Oh, how I pray these words won't be used to describe my parenting. I know it is unrealistic to expect anything close to perfection, but I want to know I have run the race well and with great passion and appropriate seriousness about the importance of the task. This is my God-given calling for this chapter of my life. I want to give it my all.

In the last couple of months my husband and I have started having lots of conversation about what we are trying to accomplish with our children. What is the goal? As they grow and we are faced with decisions about their activities, their education, discipline, etc., we have realized the necessity of stating an objective.

Several weeks ago while we were away for a Young Life committee weekend we spent a couple of hours trying to define our mission statement for parenting. More questions than answers were raised as we tried to really dig into the most important things about parenting.
We finally agreed that it boiled down to raising children whose lives glorified God as they lived out the two greatest commandments. Our hope is that as we pray over this objective we will be able to make parenting decisions with this end goal in mind.

Today, I started a new book by Dr. Tim Kimmel. I can already tell I am going to really enjoy it. The title of the book is Raising Kids for True Greatness. Here's how Kimmel defines greatness, as opposed to success (a word the world likes to use):

"Success looks inward; true greatness looks upward then outward.
Success is about my agenda; true greatness is about God's agenda.
Success accommodates selfishness; true greatness celebrates altruism.
Success is about receiving; true greatness is about giving.
Success worships what is sees in a mirror; true greatness grieves what it sees through its windows.
Success pays off for now; true greatness pays off forever."

I am so excited about spending more time marinating in these thoughts. So, pardon me, I am off to read some more.


Jamie said...

oh this is wonderful JMom, just wanted I needed to read today. Thank you for posting this wonderful insight!

Tara said...

There is a book that I have not read yet that our Upper School Director is always referring to. Having not read it, I can't give it an overall endorsement, but it seems to make at least one very good point. In Asia, if you ask parents what they want their children to be,they will often respond with "successful." In America, that same answer will often be "happy." The author suggests that perhaps what we ought to be answering is that we want our children to be "good." I think he means "good" in the sense of the "greatness" that Kimmel describes. You can be successful AND happy (or at least believe that you are) and still NOT be a "good" person. For Brian and me, that "goodness" stems from our faith. I want my children to be "good" and do what is pleasing NOT in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God. I know if they do that, they WILL be happy and successful in the truest sense of those words. Sorry to hijack your comments...Brian and I were literally just talking about this today, so your post really struck a chord ('d think I might actually post something on my OWN blog)! Thanks for sharing and it was great to see you today!

Courtney said...

I just got that book tonight from a friend of mine that HIGHLY recommends it. She can't stop talking about it. I am excited to start it! I thought it was funny to read that you just started it...have fun

Tina said...

I love it when you share what you are reading, because it often gives me more resource to pull from. Oh and speaking of the greatest commandments. I just wrote a post about that over at my blog.

All God's best,

Anna said...

I really love Tim Kimmel but I haven't read this particular book. Hope you get a lot out of it.

Sniz said...

That book sounds awesome. I was looking for an uplifting book to read and this sounds like it!