Grandma broke her measuring cup the other day–one that she’s had for a long time. She had put hot tea into it (it’s one of those glass pitchers that measures up to two cups) and then, after pouring that out, had put cold water into it. You guessed correctly: it cracked down the middle! (last week was a bad week for breaking glass containers! I had done a similar thing a couple days before!)

That incident sorta connects with a quotation I found in Oswald Chambers’s writings a couple days ago:

“Wherever one’s hopes are founded, there will that person’s idea of prosperity be. And whatever the soul conceives to be prosperity will become that person’s measurement of hope.”
~ April 18 Devotions for a Deeper Life Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.

I didn’t even finish reading the day’s reading right away; I had to stop and ponder that statement. What do I consider prosperity? How do I measure my hope? I know what the “Sunday School” answer is. But the “Sunday School” answer gets its bad rap from the very fact that it’s pat rather than practical, easy rather than real. I have a vague notion of what I’d like the answer to be. But I wonder what the answer really is, what my life shows it to be. And I wonder what it is becoming, what God is making it into.

How do I measure success? Am I a success because I averaged 10 minutes per book that I had to write assignments in tonight? I think it’s a good average by the estimates I have heard, but will my boss think so when she arrives on Monday morning to find that there’s still a little more to do to get ready for the evening? Do I measure my success by my own estimations or by others’ opinions? or both? or neither? Not “how should I measure them?” but “how do I measure them?”

It’s got me pondering–not morbidly, but curiously; not fearfully, but interestedly.

Obviously, I’m not measuring my success by how early I get to bed at night. Maybe I ought to . . . =)