Five Minute Friday — Success

It’s time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly timed keyword-themed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Her words — and those of the others who congregate around the virtual table to share — are on Facebook at fiveminutefriday.com. I encourage you to read them … and participate in the often challenging exercise.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Tammy, who I hope inspires you to check us out or, better yet, encourage you to try your hand at focused, unscripted writing for just five minutes. And share it on Kate’s website.

“I joined the FMF community in 2015 and am amazed at the depth of relationships I have built! Seeing the same people’s posts every week and reciprocating reading and commenting has encouraged my writing. The Twitter party on Thursdays has also become a joy!”

The word this week is SUCCESS. The clock is started, so let’s GO …

Eleven years ago today, my family and I said good bye to my wife Karen. Amid the tears, we realized we failed to keep her alive in her five month battle with metastasized small cell lung cancer. But despite our sorrow and grief of the day, we realized she left quite a legacy.

By the world’s standards, she didn’t leave much — at least in her eyes. But there isn’t a day that goes by when we collectively and individually talk to her, laugh with her and cry with her. We witnessed the most perfect grace under difficult situation. She left the world a little brighter.

I am always proud to share her story to others through my words. She touched so many people — people she knew and those … STOP

who only know her through these words and stories. She has a success story worth repeating.

Two thousand years ago, a man/God called Jesus wandered the earth. Loved by many and hated by a few during His three year ministry, He died a horrific crucifixion. By the world’s standards, He  was a failure. His ministry crumbled. His followers either distanced themselves from Him or scattered out of town.

But three days later He walked out of His tomb, flipping that failure into the most wonderful success story in the world.

I am always proud and honored to tell His story through my words. He touched so many people — He saved so many people, failures like you and me. His is a success story worth repeating over and over.

Some day, my bones will fail. My fluttering heart will beat its last beat. My lungs will exhale for the last time. I hope through the tears and sorrow, my family will see my grace and remember a legacy of love, care, and share.

By the world’s standard, I will be labeled a failure like Lazarus at the gate. My earthly possessions will be packed not so neatly into a few boxes with little value to anyone but me. If I’m lucky, the financial ledger will balance.

But at that moment, I know the script will be flipped and I will witness first hand the comfort of being in the bosom of Abraham, reunited with my wife, the throng of other believers before me and the heavenly host in the throne room of the triune God.

I hope I leave a legacy of love. I hope people remember me with a smile for that corny joke. I hope they ponder the inspirational messages Ive left. When they read my words I hope they see the Light I always tried to shine.

That’s success. It’s not what we have, but what we give and share. And our God loves to flip our failures — your failures, my failures — into the sweetest success story ever told.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: All things in life are temporary. If it’s going well — enjoy it.  That won’t last long. If it’s going badly, don’t worry. That won’t last long either.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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13 Responses to Five Minute Friday — Success

  1. Joe, on reading your moving words, this is the first thing that came to mind. God bless you, my friend.

  2. Gabriele says:

    I battle with the definition of success, too. It certainly is elusive. But, a more accurate view comes from feeling the love of God.

  3. MaryHill says:

    Beautifully written and poignant. I know loss too. I am praying special blessings over you as you remember your special wife. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Bruce says:

    Hi Andrew….Brian Piccolo went to high school in my area in South Florida. At the time, it was known as Central Catholic High School in Fort Lauderdale. It is now known as St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Some of my younger siblings were educated at this high school. Brian’s Song is their theme song. I’ve seen the movie, and it’s quite emotionally moving.

    Bruce

  5. Bruce says:

    Hi Joe….Again, my condolences on the death of your wife Karen. I can only imagine what you are going through emotionally at this time. This must be a difficult time for you.

    The truth is that we only die physically, and our spirit remains alive. Because of my NDE, many years ago, I know that there is an afterlife, because I was there for a short period of time. It’s called an afterlife, but it’s actually a continuation of our existing lives. We leave our physical bodies behind, and our spirits are set free. Your separation from Karen won’t last forever. True love never dies, but goes on forever. You will be with her again in the future.

    Take care of yourself Joe.

    Bruce

  6. Brenda Lynn says:

    I’m in complete agreement. Success isn’t measured in what we have, but in what we give away. It sounds to me as if both you and your late wife were great successes. I hope to be the same one day. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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