Three C’s

The inspiration for this post comes from the biblical character Daniel. No, we’re not going to talk about him in the lion’s den, but the characteristics Daniel exhibited administrating and leading under four kings. This is a remarkable feat by itself. Basically the whole time Judah was in captivity in Babylon, Daniel was behind the scenes. While an incredible tenure, Daniel exhibited the same godliness and integrity throughout that time, unmoved by all his trials and tribulations.

It makes one happy to stay consistent at something, maybe at a job for 20 years, or staying fit, for example. Godly living over 70 years with no blemishes on the permanent record is noteworthy. What in your life or in your vocation can you be more consistent? Such a change requires starting somewhere, so don’t quit something before you start mainly because you’ll have to do it for a long time for it to matter! There’s a saying about a journey of a thousand miles. It starts with one step.

I was also struck recently of something new in the familiar story of Daniel cutting a deal with the overseer under Alphanaz to  not eat the king’s food and drink the king’s wine. You’d say that a man so consistent would not be prone to compromise. But lest we forget, Daniel was first and foremost a politician–in a good sense. From his earliest years, he struck compromises that allowed him to stay true to his Lord, and still keep his head–until it was all about him praying to his God. What struck me is that the vegetables he ordered up were still prepared by the king! And the water, who can complain about just wanting water? So the plan was uncanny and it worked. The lesson: Are you sticking to your guns about something that might be holding you back? Have you thought creatively about the issue? Have you prayed for wisdom? You may have created an unnecessary logjam in your career. So try to find a suitable compromise.

Finally, everything that Daniel did from the very beginning required courage. Our crude society calls this trait any number of things, but like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, most of us lack courage to make the BIG DECISION, whether to own up or to step out on your own or to stand up for yourself. Whatever it might be, what would you do if you just had the courage to do it? Well, what are you waiting for!

 

Blow Your Own Horn

Those forced out onto the street may be forced for the first time to become their own publicist. It’s do or die time now. You don’t work, you don’t eat!

While you might not like to blow your own horn, you’d better get those chops in shape. No matter how many hot shots you may know, no matter how many achievements you’ve racked up, you’ll still need to sell yourself.

I love how the Apostle Paul makes his own case in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. So worried that he’d sound full of himself, his preamble was loaded with disclaimers. He announced that what he was going would sound insane (11:23). But he spoke within his sphere (10:13), and within the measure of this sphere, he was a rock star. Not in his eyes, but in those to whom he ministered.

The takeaway is that he was a humble guy, aware of his shortcomings, like his contemptible unskilled speech (10:10), and perhaps his stature, yet he was super-confident. In his case, the power of God was behind everything he did, and his confidence was in Him. As such, he was able to take on the detractors, the naysayers, and the hungry wolves at his door (11:32).

When finally in front of a potential employer, it’s time, within your sphere, to make your impassioned plea. Your particular set of skills are worth a lot to somebody, but more so is your unbridled passion.

In Paul, this was clearly demonstrated in his many trials and tribulations. Don’t lose sight that despite the 195 gashes in his back, he was bound and determined to share the gospel to the Gentiles in the uttermost parts of the world, where no one dared to go. And he did, because he was worried sick about their welfare! (11:28)

Transmit your passion with what you’ve done, despite the obstacles and challenges, and you’ll impress!

Cast Your Bread

1      Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.
2      Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.
3      If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies.
4      He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.
5      Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
6      Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

Cast your bread—market yourself.

You will find it after many days.

Divide your portion—on a number of fronts.

You’ll avoid misfortune.

Clouds are full, they pour out rain.

Be realistic. “It is what it is,” as they say.

You’ll avoid rabbit trails or chasing windmills.

Tree falls, there it lies—accept results and move on.

You can’t grieve. You must keep going.

You do not know—what God is up to.

Watches the wind…looks at the clouds.

Don’t just stand there. Have a bias for action.

God who makes all things.

Openings, interviews, champions, offers, etc.

Sow your seed—full time.

Morning and evening—until you’ve earned the right to take the night off!

Do not be idle.

You can’t be if you want to succeed.