Many in the world today are longing and striving for success. Poet Emily Dickinson observed, ''Success is counted sweetest /By those who ne'er succeed.'' If success were judged solely on the basis of position, possessions, or popularity, then the measure of one's success would hinge on the place one fills , the things one owns, or the people one knows. But do these factors in themselves constitute success? Not really.
Christian Science shows that a successful life is a life lived in obedience to God's laws. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''The predisposing and exciting cause of all defeat and victory under the sun, rests on this scientific basis: that action, in obedience to God, spiritualizes man's motives and methods, and crowns them with success; while disobedience to this divine Principle materializes human modes and consciousness , and defeats them.'' n1
n1 Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 267-268.
The Master instructed his disciples, ''Follow me.'' As long as they did so, they were successful men, successful missionaries and healers. Christ Jesus set an example for his followers - past and present - by his obedience to God and by his according of authority and power, honor and glory, to Him. Jesus didn't take personal credit but insisted, ''The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.'' n2 Echoing the Master's viewpoint, Mrs. Eddy states, ''You soar only as uplifted by God's power, or you fall for lack of the divine impetus.'' n3
n2 John 14:10.
n3 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 248.
How can we be sure there is no lack of divine impetus in our own lives, since such lack would indicate failure rather than success? We can strive to express the divinely derived qualities of wisdom, love, integrity, unselfishness, goodness, sincerity, and the like, which are closely associated with success; and we can prayerfully seek God's direction, His will, in our daily decisions and actions. Decisions based on God-derived inspiration, rather than on fear, limitation, and narrow human reasoning, can lead to inspired action.