A New Definition of Success

By Dennis K.

I thought I’d put to rest questions about “The Meaning of Life” during my hippy days growing up around Washington, DC. After trying out a lot of schools in the area, I buckled down at American University. When I finished, I launched out into the business world. By then, I had decided that the meaning of life was that life had no meaning.

I became quite successful, if by success you mean a lovely wife and family, lots of money to spend on toys and a comfortable retirement to look forward to. The only trouble was that by 1992, at the age of 41, I was not happy. I needed a new definition of success. So, you might say I was open to exploring new avenues.

Messiah in the Passover

A business associate invited me to a presentation of “Messiah in the Passover” at his church. Scott Brown, the man doing the teaching, was Jewish. For some reason I said yes and brought my wife, Tina, and our children.

Now, growing up in a Conservative household, I’d been to plenty of Seders, but I’d never heard anything like Scott’s message. He drew out the symbolism of the Passover and made a connection between the distant past in Egypt and what made it meaningful today. As Scott taught about the Messiah’s fulfillment of the sacrificial Passover Lamb, he struck a chord. Something that I had thought was without meaning suddenly had meaning. Scott showed that Judaism was alive, but alive in connection with Yeshua, Jesus.

Right after the service, I made a beeline to Scott. I wanted to meet with him, and he agreed. For about two months we met every week, and during those meetings, I tried every argument I had against the idea that Jesus could be the Messiah. Over and over Scott would say, “Let’s see what the Hebrew Scriptures say.” And over and over, my arguments would fall.

Success at Last

Finally, the moment came when I ran out of arguments. During this time, I was also attending the Son of David Congregation in Rockville, Maryland, which was under Scott’s leadership. That May, the Sabbath after Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day), in the middle of the service, I finally made my decision. I became a believer in Messiah. And I will never forget the feeling of independence I experienced that day from the jaded view of life I’d cultivated up until then.

I am grateful. I used to think life was meaningless. Then I found out that with faith in Messiah, it is more meaningful than I and my family could possibly imagine. In the time that has passed, I’ve lost a lot of the “toys” that I thought were so important to me. But in the end, that’s all they were-toys. In their place, I have received something far greater than diversion – real love. That, in my view, is worth more than any of the world’s success.