A founder’s burden.
Well, there are many. But here are two that weigh heavily on a daily basis: Finding the right path. Are we on the right path? Because I’m anxious we aren’t. And Measures of success. Are we progressing as we should? Because I’m anxious we aren’t.
Anxieties, worries. It is these founder’s burdens that weigh heavily on many days that today forced a cry for help. This is what He told me just now:
There are many measures of success, but there is only one measure of purpose: our impact on the people who were placed in our lives, whom we have been called to serve. If we must worry, our hearts and minds ought to engulf our family, our friends, our partners, our employees, our customers, our customers’ customers. But not about their well-being, which is God’s turf alone. No, if I must worry I ought to worry about this alone, the one true measure of purpose, and thus, of success:
Am I giving my all, my all, my all to the people I was given all these gifts to love and serve?
And the right path? Ignatius and Josemaria, both founders called to build massive, and for their time, preposterous ventures. Both innovations have stood the test of time, both transcendent institutions. Ponder the greatest inventions of our time – Facebook and Google – and wonder if their lasting impact will come close to Ignatius and his Jesuits? Because wouldn’t this suggest a screaming truth about the right path?
Tell me, Ignacio: did you build by your own designs, to your own timetables, in your own way? Or did the patient and trusting revelation of each day guide you to lay each little brick according to His Will?
Maybe it is not the founder’s burden to find the right path, but rather to focus the full measure of one’s trust on the simplest and truest means – call it a method – by which we can surely find the right path:
By daily revelation. That discernment that can only come with prayer; honest to goodness conversations with God, as if he were, instead of God, our best friend.
And of course these two seemingly discrete, unconnected themes do perfectly, poetically intersect: because the right path will always lead to impact, to love and service for others, which is the one true measure of purpose, and thus, of success.
There, I’m a little less anxious now…