Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American poet, essayist and lecturer wrote, ‘This Is To Have Succeeded’
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Leaving traditional religion in the 1830’s and trying to express life in terms of nature, philosophy and from transcendentalism, he eventually left conventional Christian thought. Though termed an atheist by many it seems to me that he was merely trying to define, live and express the Kingdom of God without religious strings attached.
Whether we live according to his definition above as a Christian or as an unbeliever we will have succeeded. It is just that God or man will get the glory and that is the decision we have to make.
“Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” Jesus