I found this incredibly encouraging this morning:
[Mother Teresa says:] “we are not called to be successful but faithful.” This distinction is helpful for me as I barricade myself against the daily dread of setback. You need protection from the ebb and flow of three steps forward, five steps backward. You trip over disappointment and recalcitrance every day, and all becomes a muddle. God intends it to be, I think. For once you choose to hang out with folks who carry more burdens then they can bear, all bets seem to be off. Salivating for success keeps you from being faithful, keeps you from truly seeing whoever’s sitting in front of you. Embracing a strategy and an approach you can believe in is sometimes the best you can do you on any given day. If you surrender your need for results and outcomes, success becomes God’s business. I find it hard enough to just be faithful.
… Jesus was always too busy being faithful to worry about success. I’m not opposed to success; I just think we should accept it only if it is a byproduct of our fidelity. If our primary concern is results, we will choose to work only with those who give us good ones.
Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart