Part 2: THE PATH TO GREATNESS
Every tinge of greatness was initiated by God and originated from God. Our human framework cannot dictate the amount of greatness that we can really express to the world. Our connection with God will be a surefire formula and great stepping stone to the realization and expression of that greatness.
As we move further, let us look into the Path to Greatness. This topic will surely unveil to us that there are no shortcuts to greatness. Most trying circumstances and bitter insurmountable odds will come along the way but those things are really part of the whole package as we go to our journey in the pursuit of “Greater Things”
Those people that go alongside with you in your journey as you track your path to greatness will somehow become instrumental and become “God’s invisible hand” to mold us and bring us to God’s grand design. Somebody’s belief on your greatness plays a vital role in the release of it.
This is a continuation of the life story of Coach Christopher Carandang, World Memory Athlete, Philippine Representative.
“I was just 9 years of age when I discovered that I had a great NATURAL MEMORY when I was able to recite twenty-five stanzas of a poem which I won first in the competition way back 1983. Having realized that, I was inspired by my aunt to read more books and more information easily and readily sank down in my memory bank then. My interest for books went unstoppable especially when I entered college. Year 2001, somebody showed to me a live memory demonstration and that thing propelled me to set out to do a lot of research about having a TRAINED MEMORY. Armed with the memory skill I developed from reading, I dared to apply to a company with business that had something to do with learning strategies such as memory. Sad to say, I got rejected. I said to myself, “If I cannot find work, I will come up to a business that will produce work.” My strenuous research resulted to a production of my first module entitled “Towfer’s Memory Bank” but the same old story happened. Critics and skeptics came along side to degrade the idea. With the firm conviction that greatness can really come out of my endeavor, I was thankful to God because some people tried to reach in and dared to believe the idea and the rest became a remarkable history.”
SOME REFLEXIVE QUESTION
- Have you ever experienced to be bothered around by circumstances without even minding that God orchestrated something to prepare you to have a better and even greater platform for the future?
- Have you ever tried to reflect why do you need to undergo those processes if somehow there is a way you can scape and take shortcuts to reach greatness?
- Have you ever wondered about the great feeling you have gotten after you went through and overcame a certain ordeal or trying situations in life?
The Gold Miner
A determined miner won’t mind the dirt that he will be encountering everyday because his heart is totally focused and expectant that gold someday will come before him along the way. Being in the gold mine is not easy but messy. Sometimes it gets fuzzy and makes us dizzy. In the same way if a certain miner will be caught up by the enormity of dirt more than the gold, he will become much more frustrated until he becomes old!
We have to be bold to discover the gold!
Finding the Solution
There are many great people in history if we will dare to backtrack their experiences became victims first before they become victors. Critics, skeptics and hecklers alongside with them were instrumental in maligning, mudslinging and some hurled insults at them to the point of almost killing their destiny. Those crippling words held them hostage in their imagination and somehow paralyzed their thinking.
Examples of those are:
ALBERT EINSTEIN – He wasn’t able to speak until he was almost 4-years old and his teacher said he would “never amount to much.”
MICHAEL JORDAN – After being cut from high school basketball team, he went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.
WALT DISNEY – Fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas.”
STEVE JOBS – At 30-years old he was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.
OPRAH WINFREY – Was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she wasn’t “fit for television.”
THE BEATLES – Rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said, “we don’t like their sound – they have no future in show business.”
Glimpse of the Bible: GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Many stories in the Bible as we try to recount will show us some certain men or women of God who underwent a series of great ordeal before they rose to promotion. Sometimes every circumstance seems blurry and unnoticeable and many do not understand it. The Bible tells us,
“The SECRET things belong to the Lord but the things REVEALED belong to us and our children forever.” Deuteronomy 29:29
“It is the glory of God to CONCEAL a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Proverbs 25:2
Behind every situation we experienced no matter how painful and incomprehensible it was, God remained sovereign. The sovereign God knew what He was doing. The Bible keeps reminding us,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Joseph the Dreamer
One of those who were tested by painful circumstances was Joseph the Dreamer. The story can be found in the book of Genesis 37 to 50. Joseph’s greatness did not come to him in a silver platter but rather it was nightmarish and painful. He was a man who got excited by his God–given dream yet failed not to control himself not to disclose it at once to his parents and brothers. Joseph’s vision was painful to his brothers and was considered an affront to his parents. First odd that Joseph confronted was PERSECUTION.
Since there was an apparent favoritism that they saw from their father, and since jealousy welled up within them, they deviced a plot to kill him. And this was Joseph’s second odd to overcome. Joseph was thrown to the PIT but their eldest brother Reuben intervened and they decided to conspire together to sell Joseph to a passing Ismaelite trader. Since God is unstoppable in the greatness he initiated, Joseph through the Ismaelite trader reached the doorstep of the palace. After the display of his excellence to his master, an accusation was hurled against him that led him eventually to the PRISON. Surprisingly, nowhere in the Bible did Joseph question God about his circumstances. With the right kind of heart he demonstrated and with unquestionable stance against his circumstances, Joseph finally reached God’s pre-ordained moment of promotion when he was brought to the PALACE and succeeded in his prophesy to the Pharaoh with the help of the Almighty God. Joseph rose to prominence and became second in command to the king of the land of Egypt, the Pharaoh.
Reflection from the Story
PATH# 1: PERSECUTION
Many times in life, people around you won’t believe you. They won’t believe in what you have, what you can and sometimes their destructive and crippling words almost suppress your great potential. Some example to illustrate how REACHING IN plays a vital role in releasing a certain individual to greatness are the following:
Anne Sullivan – She was a woman who stood before Helen Keller toe to toe and adamantly refused that there was no greatness that can come out from a deaf, blind and mute woman named Helen Keller. Anne Sullivan “REACH IN strategy” plays a very important role in the discovery of Helen’s genius.
Phil Jackson – Before the emergence of Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball athletes in the history of NBA, Phil Jackson was there. Phil Jackson’s confidence in Michael’s leadership and decision developed such enormous and outstanding performance in him. Michael’s greatness was unfolded and he was unstoppable winning six championships with Phil Jackson.
Freddie Roach – Who would have thought that an ordinary baker will one day become a world class boxing icon? It was because somebody went alongside with him and believed in the greatness that he carries. Manny Pacquiao became a part of the global boxing history.
PATH# 2: PIT
Pit is a place that is so dark and the deafening silence inside of it adds painful sorrow and loneliness. Unless somebody took notice that you are inside of it, that is the only time you can have hope to get out of it.
Sometimes you don’t see your own potential. It’s really total darkness. That was the time you labeled yourself, “good for nothing and not good enough” even no one else told you. Thank God for those people who REACHED IN! Those who took time to listen and waited for His perfect time until your greatness was finally unlocked. Now you can get out of it!
PATH# 3: PRISON
It was place in which there were people around were physically present but cannot give a hand to help you because they themselves were in the same situation as that of yours, imprisoned. It was actually the time where your mind was held hostage by opinions and expectations of man. This was the time where your every step was very limited and as if walls were all around you. Unless somebody will open the door, then and only then can freedom be guaranteed.
PALACE: PLACE OF GREATNESS
It is the place where you can see the KING in His majesty and glory face to face. It is a place where there is no picture of poverty and depression. Everything around is great. This is the place that God has been wanting us to have, to reach in and be alongside with the King.
We are so expressive when we are celebrating how happy we are when things in our lives are going well. We keep on highlighting those joyful moments and we really go to the details of it. On the other side of the coin, deep inside of us whether we accept it or not, there is a deep cry for understanding why you have a feeling as if God left you in reckless abandon. Remember, God is an all-knowing God. If every painful circumstance we underwent brought us to the end of ourselves, God knew it. When the platform of greatness or promotion comes in your life, no element of SELF will be glorified but God and God alone! It‘s BEYOND TALENT…
Thoughts To Ponder Upon:
Would you be willing to yield to God every aspect of your life and say to Him, “God, no longer my ability, no longer my strength, which will I acknowledge but Yours.”
Would you be willing to totally embrace every God-given process and continually be expectant that greatness and promotion ahead has been waiting for you?
Would you be willing to consider that God is the initiator and originator of our greatness and He knows what He is doing in preparing you for the total release of His glory?
When God gave our talent, it was not right away in its full blown manifestation or it was already great. It was actually in seed form which we need to discover, nurture and continually bring to the next level of expression. On its way to its expression, painful process might come along the way. Sometimes those painful processes will be instrumental to bring us to the end of ourselves until we realize that it was God who initiated it and every manifestation of greatness we have originated from Him and Him alone! It went BEYOND OUR PERSONAL TALENT but the Giver of our talents!