Will You Be Of The Few Who Find The Way? Or Of The Many Who Don’t?
— — Jesus in Matthew 7:14
“Why Most People Will Never Be Successful” is a title in one of the many wonderfully successful articles by Benjamin Hardy
To be honest with you, it pinches my heart when I read it, and yet I am terribly drawn to that headline. Why? Because it is true and because I happen to love the truth. (I have found it to be awfully difficult at first, but then it is liberating and helpful).
We are hearing the same truths everywhere, coming from many voices: “do this or else you will stay stagnated and lose out on the chance you have NOW”… “do this”, “do that”.
Small is the gate and narrow the road… (and never linear).
Every message leads to the same narrowness, no matter how many times we read it.
In the antiquated and slightly offputting language of two millennia ago, John the baptist would say:
“repent ye, for the kingdom of God is near”…
Do you get the immense potential of those words?
Forgive me if I am being presumptuous, but since the kingdom of God is no less than w-i-t-h-i-n — y-o-u… these words about the kingdom of God being within us mean extremely exciting things, and not the depressing ones that we were inclined to believe before. This isn’t religion, this is about having an abundant, fulfilling, useful life!
Jesus was the ultimate life coach; he said:
“I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly” John 10:10
I must tell you: I left religiosity eight years ago, and my hold on this business of God and our relationship to the divine is free from dogma these days, and a lot of the fog created by the perpetual guilt and fear has lifted, so I see less doom and more potentiality.
(Both doom and potentiality are within me, and I incline towards the potentiality, both in me and in everyone else.)
A lot is good about those antiquated words of John, “repent ye”. All this means is, “take a look at what you’ve been doing, be honest about it, and make a turn where you see you need it”; no flagellation or gnashing of teeth required. No shame, no guilt; just make an adjustment; with love, hope, enthusiasm and gratitude, — all things which feel great in the body and in the mind and are super healthy.
When you do this, a lot of energy formerly trapped in shame, guilt and fear is released to fly freely out and do what it’s supposed to do: express our individual God-given gifts every day in whichever way is available to us each day. This is true for each of us.
So, whether it is following any of the morning routines we are advised to follow, all which contain treasures in them, or we are told to do yoga and meditate, or curtail TV and media, or focus into deep work… all is good. Jesus used to go to the mount alone; I reckon that was deep work, meditation and yoga all combined.
Whether you follow a short list or a long one; whether you read it daily or once, it remains the same truth:
Small is the gate and narrow the road…
It always comes down to today; and then it is broken down even further. Sometimes I have a good first half of the day and a rotten second half.
It takes… what does it take?
- A good sense of humor
- Tenacity: You can’t drop the ball. Be tenacious. This also means that you don’t let nay sayers or negative people intoxicate your life. You must push through all that.
- Patience: Sometimes things go in a way that is encouraging, but sometimes things go in a way that is challenging. We have to be patient. If you aren’t, open your heart to develop patience; be humble. I know I have had to develop patience way past the point I thought was conceivable for me to have; and I still lack it! (I associate impatience with pride.)
- Faith. Without faith we are finished. Even the most basic faith assumes the sun will shine tomorrow; but we must have far greater faith than that.
- Love. “And do everything with love”, I Cor. 16:14. This is literal. Do you think it’s possible to do everything with love? I think that it should be our goal. If I am stopped by a cop, it will be very hard to drive away with a ticket with love; but hopefully my spirit will not be sour for long; hopefully I will laugh about it before long. — Doing things with love makes us happy. The Universe approves of us doing things with love. We approve of ourselves in a deep sense, when we do things with love. Doing things with love is altogether congruent with the energies that govern the Universe.
- Humility. “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall”, Prov. 16:18. “humility comes before honor”, Prov. 18:12. Pride is dangerous; not just for us, but for those who may depend on us, close and far. Our pride makes us vulnerable, brittle and weak. Humility is the gateway to wisdom; very few find it, but all need it and suffer for its lack. Humility makes us supple and flexible; it allows us to roll with the punches unscathed.
- Vision. The one who stands out in the Bible when I think of vision is Joseph. Here’s a guy who is in jail and could be executed any minute; but instead, he knows this is a temporary setback. How does he know? Because he has a vision; a dream that sustained him. In the flesh he was in that prison, but in his spirit? In his spirit he was in a very different place. — Have a vision; ask for it if you don’t have it; make space to receive it; most likely it will be bigger than you think.
- Purpose. Don’t have a double mind; be steady in your purpose; don’t fluctuate. Show up the best way you can, every single day. Know it in your bones that it will not be in vain, even if it seems like the progress is very small.
- Discipline. Sometimes it sucks. Another of Benjamin Hardy’s article’s titles: “If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing”. Discipline is a little like the truth, it is horrible at first, but after a while it is awesome and invigorating. I want to live it more.
- Craziness. You must be “crazy” as far as the popular standards. Nothing of brilliance comes from “run of the mill” minds. Every single person of outstanding usefulness has been judged to be crazy, from Jesus to John Lennon, to Gandhi… to Socrates; everyone. One of my biggest honors is to be “crazy”; I am in the ranks of people with whom it is a privilege to associate, whether they are alive in the flesh on only alive in energy today. I wouldn’t want to live in any other way.
- A good sense of humor. For God’s sakes laugh at yourself. Do it as often as possible. Taking ourselves too seriously is heavy work; it is heavy for us and those around us! It’s very offputting. Self-deprecation is an inexpensive, risk-free and accessible way to have a lot of fun. If you aren’t funny then watch a few good funny movies and adopt their humor as your own. My girls and I have a few from which we glean humor that we use often, including “The Odd Couple”, “Meet the Parents”, and a few others.
There is no magic outside of you in any particular list or anywhere else; all the magic is within you; remember: the kingdom of God is within you.
Small is the gate and narrow the road… and it is within you
Science says that we don’t often change.
Faith says that we can.
Science says that few do.
So do the wise.
This is your day, and the question is:
Are you of the few who find it?
Oh God, I hope I am.
I am showing up, just as I am.
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Copyrighted material 2017