The Measure of Success

The Measure of Success
Posted on Jun 12, 2016 in Devotions
A short story by Ria Lopez
Confidence-2“I can’t believe this showed up today”! Garrett pulled a gray hair sticking out from the top of his head. He has been getting ready for this reunion for months. After all, he expects former classmates and friends to measure up with the class valedictorian like himself. Exiting the passenger boarding bridge, he made sure he looked sharp. This is not Facebook after all and this is such a small town.
I can’t edit impressions of people as they see me again after 8 years, he thought to himself. He is not usually this self-conscious but something about this trip home makes him a little nervous. He came home wanting to prove to everybody that he is successful as everyone thought he would be.

First stop is his best friend’s house. Except for the little bikes with trainer wheels on the yard, the house where Joe grew up, looks the same as he remembers it. As the front door opened, Garrett was greeted with a slight jab on his right shoulder and a big hug. “Man, it’s been ages”! “If I have known a hot shot lawyer is staying, I should have tidied up Junior’s room instead of making him sleep in the couch”. Melissa, Joe’s wife, joked. They are high school sweethearts and he owes them this stay. Garrett missed their wedding and the christening of their son, all because of work. They have a lot to catch up on. “I insist on staying here with you guys. I’m only here a few days, I wanna make the most of it”. The three of them drove out after the babysitter arrived. As they head to the school gymnasium where the reunion is to be held, he felt the nostalgia again. He remembered walking through this campus, waiting for his life to unfold.

As he expected, a lot of his friends and classmates were eager to talk to him. Wanting to hear stories of hitting it big in New York City. And he loved being the center of it all. All but one seemed impressed with his stories, Mrs Wetherby, She was Garrett’s homeroom teacher and knows him well. She is one of those rare teachers who goes an extra yard for her students.

“Aren’t you happy to see me, Mrs, Wetherby”?

“Of course, I am young man. But more than those stories you proudly shared, what I really want to know is, how are you catching up”? Mrs. Wetherby asked matter of factly.

“Excuse me”?, Garrett appeared startled.

“Look at your eyes, Garrett. When was the last time you actually slept decently? And your last home cooked meal? Have you done anything recently other than work”?

“You knew that from my eyes”? Garrett replied.

“Well, I have seen enough too know. You all come here every year, looking like that. Somebody’s gotta say something. Success is not just how much you bring home but how your home is”. Mrs Wetherby said, pushing her eyeglasses up her nose.

With that, Garrett walked away. So much for impressing everyone! Who does she think she is?! Why does she have to do that?! He wants to be angry but he can’t. Is it true what she said?

Sleeping that night was harder than most nights, he really got himself worked up from what Mrs. Wetherby said. “If this is success, it is overrated”, he whispered. He thought long and deep. He can’t deny his relationships are suffering. He hasn’t talked to his parents in a while. He has been missing friend’s birthdays and such. He knew in his heart, another relationship has suffered the most, the one with His Father. I haven’t talked to him for so long. Maybe he has forgotten about me. In his mind, he knows it’s not possible. That night, Garrett fell down on his knees and poured his heart out in prayer. He didn’t expect this night to end this way. God has a different measure of success. He does not care about wealth or status. He looks at our faithfulness to Him and to his Will.

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