Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friendly Friend of the Common Man

This had been on my mind for a while, is it a curse,burden or a blessing?

I don't know why, in my life, it seems to be quite apparent and true to some extent. That I have a tendency to associate better with the common man, the person on the street, the nobody. Rather than the elite, the prominent, the people who are viewed famous or important. This is also evident just in the observations of my friends, characters I hang out with in all settings, from church, work and just outside.

For some reason I'm not that comfortable with people who are comfortable. It maybe some issue in my life I need to be deal with, although mentally I know how to act proper. But my heart does bleed for the unnoticed, the unloved. They are seemingly more real than others.

Reminding myself of what Ian McManus once experienced. He was invited to a conference, where some of the top managers and leaders were asked to speak. Most people attended the meeting so that they can hear the CEO of Ford (or was it GM?) speak at that meeting. Ian was also invited to speak, and it was on building successful businesses through good leadership. Ian felt a bit out of place especially being a Pastor, but he decided to do it anyway.

The CEO spoke about three types of people.. A-type, B-type and C-type. A-type's are the brilliant, the sort of people your company needs to move it forward and will bring big business. B-Type are people who your company needs, their not brilliant, but we all need people to sweep the floors and do the toilets. C-Type are people you need to get rid off because they will pull the company down. Then he talked about the qualities of each and how to look out for them.

Ian McManus halfway during the CEO's speech felt like changing his speech, but really felt it was the Holy Spirit asking him to say what he had written down previously before. He stood up and talked about the underdog, and raising up the champion in all of us. Which is contrary to the CEO's speech.

He talked about the A-type. Yes, the people who has always been great in life, the talents. But the thing is that a great leader is one who gathers the C-type people, teach them, disciple them, and believe in them. He gave an illustration of a basketball game, where he trained up a bunch of kids who nobody thought they could do any better,the kids whom were always picked last. But he spent time with them, training them, and instilling belief again in them, and one day they finally took up the challenge and went against an A-Team. They still lost, but the margin was by 3 points instead of a expected disastrous defeat.

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We love the underdog spirit. The person who everybody gave up on, the person who had no future, the person whom everybody despised and laughed at. And by the determination of the will, or by encouragement of a friend who stepped beyond himself, caused the underdog to rise up and proved the world wrong.

We all love it, however how rarely when we are put in the position or someone we know is in that position, do we rise up to the challenge and be it?

One great person I love is Jesus. Jesus took for himself a rag-tag 12, from fishermen of Galilee to the thuggish tax-collector. Jesus's dirty dozen. Indeed one fell, but the other eleven went on to live and die for a cause way beyond themselves and till this day, the same fire that burned in their hearts burn in ours today.

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There was a man, who kill people. He was a murderer. A zealot, he believed in what he was doing was a righteous act. A man most feared and despised. His name was Saul. But when God touched him, he came to know Jesus as his Lord and saviour.

But even when he joined the communion of the saints, most didn't want to associate with him, how can you sit on the same table as the man who murdered your husband/wife/daughter/son?

And yet, Barnabas took up the role. To believe in Him. Barnabas was not his real name, but he was called Barnabas, which meant "Son of Encouragement". His whole personality radiated with encouragement and belief in people whom people has given up on.

And Saul went on to became Paul and wrote 2/3rds of the new testament. The mighty men of God whom did great and marvelous acts. The one who cried "But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God" (Phillipians 2:17), a man who lived and died for a cause.

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The world like the prominents, the talented, the gifted. But the Lord doesn't look at the outward appearance but at the heart.

I need to look at even my own life with God's eyes. Especially when I put my life in perspective of many of my friends. For me to be doing security, when some of my friends are investment bankers, engineers and people of high positions. I feel like a fool at times. The years seem to go by, I feel like I've lived life harder than most, but still have not achieve more than most. Why is it that I have to climb 10 tree's to get a coconut when they only need to climb one? Why are the opportunities shut for me, but opened for them freely. It's as if, there is injustice in my world according to my eyes. But not according to God's eyes.

Can I believe that God is speaking to me? Encouraging me? Saying "I have not forgotten you John". That I am an underdog as well? We all love the dream of high-flyers, graduating with honours, coming out in big-named firms, big-checks and rising above and beyond their peers. We want to be them. But I am not them.

Like an eagle amongst the chickens, the Lord is saying to take a flight with Him, being different, going different paths, finding my own. Not living the life others live or going the way they go. But to find Him and His purpose in my life.

I feel at many times I am at crossroads, I feel like going back home, grass seems greener on the other side, people tell me I'm a fool, I don't know. Life seems so uncertain. But, I have only one certainty in life. Is that Holy Spirit.. you are with me. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

1 comment:

Wilbur said...

Yes, you are in the right track..Just hang on..without the 40 years in the Desert, Moses would not have the ability to get the Israelite out..without the slavery, prison, Joseph would not be able to meet the challenges in Pharoah's Palace. Status,prestige jobs, big cars, big houses meant nothing without love and compassionate hearts. God only trusted the faithful disciples to do His will...which is good, acceptable and perfect.