Chapter 5 of the book I
wrote (undergoing revisions) “WAVE Your Way!”- Keys To Success
Since it’s holy week (in Christian communities), I thought of sharing this because our thought pattern affects behavior and behavior will determine result, either success or failure.
When I was a kid (circa 70s-80s), I disliked Lenten season because radio and TV were off the air (no cable TV or Netflix yet) and the choices of food are limited to veggies and dried fish. Likewise, it created an impression in my noob mind that during this week, (1) people must be sad (2) Likewise, staying in the house is a must, especially from Friday 3 PM to Saturday because the grannies believed God is “dead” and the risk for an accident is higher, and (3) people need to act holy, anyway, they got the rest of the year to live like the devil.
I asked myself then, ‘why God has to die every year?’ As a child, I looked forward to resurrection (easter) Sunday because life returns to normal. In the course of time, I realized that holy week or Lenten is about the keys to success that Jesus gave thru His life and works. Religion and tradition blurred these truths, and they succeeded in preventing us from understanding the value of the season.
Keys To Success (Key1): Jesus’ Life as Example
Know your purpose.
At the age of 12, and young as he is, Jesus was already aware of His ‘destiny’. Remember the story when he was left at the temple? Though he is still 18-21 years away from the completion of his call, he already knew what he is supposed to be doing. His connection with God the Father made it possible for him to understand his future.
When fulfilling his purpose, several ‘diversions’ came along the way. But Jesus remained focused on his objective. Below are examples recorded in the Bible
Diversion 1: JESUS is King and will soon be the political head of Israel. But this will not take place any time soon (it may not even happen in our lifetime); His first and immediate goal is to bring salvation to the Jews and the rest of the human race. So when Satan offered him kingdom during His 40-day fast, Jesus did not fall for it.
Diversion 2: After JESUS fed a large crowd, the free food tickled the mind of the Jews then. As a consequence, they wanted to proclaim Him king by force and declare independence from Rome. But Jesus did not allow this to sidetrack him from his first goal.
Face your fear.
If you think JESUS was never afraid, well think again. Remember His prayer at Gethsemane? He asked the Father, if possible, He will not go through the ordeal. He was so afraid that His sweats are like drops of blood. The movie produced by Mel Gibson, “The Passion” appropriately illustrated the emotions of Jesus during that time.
Keys To Success (Key2): The Cross
- Men were created to be a ruler, w/ a special relationship w/ his Creator.
- Men were given a comfortable and productive life (living in a posh upscale property; the first botanist, zoologist, and property developer on the planet)
- With only one restriction, do not touch or eat the fruit of one of the trees
- Man ate the fruit anyway
- As a result:
- Man lost his comfortable lifestyle and hard labor began
- An adverse environment came into effect as new parameters were introduced to suit the new order. To name a few
- animosity (hatred towards fellow men, and their Creator)
To alter the new order resulting from the failure of the 1st man, Jesus came. Like the first man, he was given a purpose. And this is to overcome the failure of the 1st man. After which, lay down His own life for purposes of buying back humanity (forgiveness of sin, justification, and new life), providing healing for sickness, and lifting the curse of poverty. The summary of Jesus’ purpose is to restore the special relationship that was lost because of the failure of Adam, the 1st man. (Heb. 9:11-28)
- Remember the greatest commandment? (1) ‘Love God with all your heart, soul and being’, (2) and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus’ death and resurrection empowered us to act in accordance with these commands.
- The restored relationship provided “direct” access to the Father, which was not available prior to the cross. So, like Jesus, we can also come to the Father to help us face our fear and complete our destiny (Col 1:20).
- The restored relationship brings us back to the path of abundance, success, and good health (Gal. 3:15).
- The restored relationship also gave us the ability to provide transparent and trustworthy relationships w/ others, be it an employer & employees, customer & service providers, husbands & wives, parents and children, and so forth. We’ll become better entrepreneurs, employees, spouses, and members of communities (Eph. 2:15).
Let me close this post with a story that I received through email, but the original writer is not identified:
Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute did the following study:
It’s a widely known fact that Barracuda love to eat mullet. Scientists put a barracuda into an aquarium, added a glass partition in the middle, and then put a mullet on the other side. Not believing his good luck the barracuda circled a few times, gathered up speed, and launched directly at his lunch – the poor unsuspecting mullet. Wham! Bam! Full throttle into the glass partition.
Unfazed at this, the barracuda did his preliminary circles and sped off again toward the mullet. Again, Wham! Bang! Into the glass partition. Again and again and again he tried. Some weeks later, the scientists noticed the barracuda quit trying to eat the mullet, so they removed the glass partition. Amazingly, the barracuda remained on his side of the aquarium, silently swimming in circles.
In fact, the hapless barracuda slowly died of starvation while the lucky mullet swam about in safety just a few inches away!
Many of us are like that barracuda – hurt, bruised, and wounded from many previous collisions with life. We’ve given up; our lives have become unproductive, lifeless, and hopeless, without goal, purpose, or meaning.
Around and around we go, going nowhere… silently, starving to death… while just a few millimeters away there is a prize to be collected, a blessing to be claimed, a job waiting, a relationship to begin, an education to be gained, earnings to collect.
Jesus gave us the keys to success- (1) His life as an example and (2) the message of the cross. Because of the failure of the 1st men, life may not have been too kind to us, like the barracuda, we’re wounded in the painful collisions. But the cross removed the cause of pain- the glass partition on the barracuda, and the failure of Adam, in our case. We now have access to our mullet!
The keys are available for everyone, it’s up to us to get them, and go for our mullet.