No one dreams about the possibility of success than those who have bouts with disappointments or of those that have tasted failure. Those on the fringes of poverty and know what it means to be hungry. Those who have felt the scorn of mistreatments and know what it means to be labelled a scapegoat. No one wants a viable platform of success that those who have actually tasted defeat.
There have been good and real stories of people who defied odds and failures and made it. Sheer determination, hard work, perseverance and belief have propelled them to a position of success and recognition. I do not doubt that these stories exist and will continue to exist. It gives me great satisfaction and hope that my own life would emulate theirs, someday.
But reality sometimes tells a different story. What if even after all the hard work and perseverance, things never change. Even if there are glimmers of hope for a better platform, what if things just stay the same, even after all the hard work? I ask that question many times. Will all my own hopes and dreams, stuck at the moment, be something that I will be able grasp? What if they never will?
I started my walk of faith in a fairly explosive manner. A radical conversion and a passionate abandon of going to full-time ministry. But what was it that I am really seeking? It’s not at all wrong to have dreams of being a well known and respected speaker. Someone who knows their stuff or to be one who is respected in the area of expertise that he or she is specialized in. Those are all good aspirations. But in the end, what happens when all these things are dashed and you live mediocre forever? What kind of hope are we actually feeding ourselves and the people in whom we are telling the gospel about?
I sometimes shudder when I hear testimonies that only have positive vibes in them. That when one receives Jesus, things work out, success comes and disaster is averted. Before there was a chaos and now there is peace. It’s not that I don’t believe them, it’s just me questioning the validity of the testimony when situations in life run counter to the feel good experience they initially encountered.
It dawned on me today, the state that I’m in at the moment. Neither here nor there but in a constant state of being in between. There is still a possibility that things will work out for the better in my life but there is a constant fight in my own self belief that whatever it is I envision myself to be in the next few years will also never happen. It somehow makes me more aware of what is it I’m really searching for.
I’m not so much a fan of motivational books, where I see the authors are always smiling and they dish out principles that promise success. I have a cynical grin whenever I try to read them. I often ask how many people have been successful taking up their principles. Or are those who read them only agree ideally at the concepts and ideas presented, loving these authors because in them is the picture of people who have made it?
But regardless of your positions of belief, whether you’re Christian like I am or not you have to ask this question, “What if it never happens?” “What if, even if you’ve worked hard enough, that certain platform you sought never turns out like you’ve hoped for?”
There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[a] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,