The obvious question I would ask you if you had been away at a conference for a week, would be: “What did you learn?” Yet, when I reflected on the chaplains’ conference, I struggled to put my finger on one specific learning outcome. I could wax lyrical about the human face of war, provision of tri-service chaplaincy and the difference between motorised and mechanised infantry, but I suppose the biggest impact was probably the informal time shared with my chaplain brothers. Does that mean it was NOT a successful conference? NO! One of the books I am currently reading by John Maxwell suggests that all too often we have a poor definition of what success is. He defines success as
· Knowing your purpose in life,
· Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
· Sowing seeds that benefit others.
In those terms it is obvious that success is more like a journey rather than a destination! Last week we definitely spent time pondering the ultimate purpose of life through worship and fellowship. Several sessions showed me the need to keep growing in my understanding of military concepts and processes. Hopefully, I was able to sow some seeds of wisdom from my experiences that might be helpful to my colleagues.
How do you define success? In the light of the Olympics, it would seem that all too many athletes see GOLD as the only definition of success, and anything less is failure! But how you see success will also define how you live your life! Martina Navratilova, the great tennis player puts it like this:
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else!”
If you need a new definition of success which will bring better balance to your life Maxwell’s is a great place to start. If you need help finding your purpose in life, growing towards your maximum potential and helping others, the good news is, that is why I am here, and not always away at conferences!
Chaplain Ian S Whitley