This was a post from my friend, Lisa Huggins Hartman. As I read it, I began to realize it has a completely different meaning to me today than it has over the past 20+ years.
I hope you see my heart!
The Message Translation:
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
This is so powerful, yet so simple. I like this “in your face” translation because there is just no other way to live—out loud, on purpose, full of passion!
While reading Lisa’s post, I pondered what the true call on our lives is. Just my thoughts, not theologically researched! The Gospel or good news that was preached to the Gentiles/Jews/Pharisees/Greek, etc. was there is a different way to live. There is a better covenant, built on better promises. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. I have noticed now more than ever….people needs this good news almost more than they need oxygen.
With all the distractions the world has to offer, people failing in fear due to an economy they have no control over, & joy is nowhere to be found…..we have to “lose” ourselves in order to show them a better way.
We run to this CAUSE as long as it is smooth and don’t upset our lifestyle. In our lifetime, we would never incur the discomforts that our ancestors endured for the sake of good news! Now, even more than ever, I honor them.
Losing one’s life is sacrifice. I have witnessed this in my mentors/friends/biz partners more in the past 2 years than I have ever seen in my lifetime. They have become my modern day heroes. I chose to follow God & become a fisher of man…..I am sacrificing the old self & as the scripture above describes….to find the real me–my true self! As I strive for this daily, moment by moment, completely & totally surrendered, I am surrounded by people leading by example, doing the same & more.
I am denying “me” to serve others first, ahead of me. I do not covet recognition, but want them showered with praise.
I am losing my selfish ambitions to assure their purpose, goals, & dreams, are discovered.
I am losing my life of sitting on the couch to watch TV for mindless entertainment in order to make someone has their house note paid.
I am losing my life of compulsive shopping habits, practicing delayed gratification, so that I can drive 11 hours just so a new biz partner can witness the feeling of being in a stadium of over 10,000 people praying for a CEO of a “juice company”. To behold what it is like being a part of an organization with the top leaders in the world as they humbly teach from their heart the vision of developing a million leaders. Why this vision? To instill character based leadership principles–God first, Family second, Biz third & to turn our nation back to the nation God intended it to be! Yeah…& you think it is just a “juice business”!!
I am losing my life of selfish, self centered, self righteous mentality, to fast and pray for someone that needs me to stand in the gap so that they can make the right decisions for their family. You see by losing it….I can rejoice with them when these prayers are answered!
I am losing my life of making sure I go the extra mile, so in return I can hear a grown man cry because he now knows his purpose in life, & what he needs to do spiritually, mentally, & emotionally for his family/others.
I am losing my life to pursue my personal vendetta against divorce only to hear story after story, after story of how marriages are being restored. Witnessing that other kids will never have to be subjected to what my 2 kids endured. I am front row, center watching single mothers give their kids/grandkids, “Success for Teens”, hear children recite CD’s, understand the difference in character. What sweet revenge on divorce. Breaking the cycle for generations.
I am losing my life of precious sleep to read a book that will help me learn how to communicate more effectively.
I am losing my life of listening to the “water-cooler” gossip at lunch to read. I have learned how our country desperately needs leaders, how to raise myself from failure to success in selling, how to think/dream bigger, how to speak a love language that will make someone feel accepted then how to accept, approve and appreciate them, how to win friends & influence people, how Thomas Jefferson Education system needs to be adopted by our nation, how we must be prepared for the coming aristocracy, how the next millionaires will come from the next trillion dollar industry, how to make slight edge changes that will affect every area of my life, how to be a go-giver & to know the anatomy of peace. People may feel like they are in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, but I may have the advice to help them make critical choices! All this knowledge by simply sitting in the courtyard alone, or at a table alone while immersing myself in the greatest mentors of history, a book! You see….there is no amount of gossip that would educate me on these topics.
I am losing my life to commit to one Saturday a month, travel out of town, spend time & gas to make sure someone hears that they were never promised this business would be easy, but it is oh so worth it!
You see…when friends said I was foolishly stepping out of the singles ministry to dedicate my life to a business they were clueless. I didn’t step out….I stepped UP & was promoted into a higher calling. A calling that put requirements on me to learn, grow, develop myself, pray, trust God in measures I have only thought of trusting him for. A calling that has allowed me to sit before some of the greatest men/women in my lifetime to glean from their wisdom, learning how to pay it forward!
I have lost it!! But…what I have gained for my loss is beyond words. In the end I have found my life—the real me—serving others first. I have embraced discomfort & learned from it. There is no greater sacrifice or joy! I think in essence……that is what the scripture describes—-to follow Jesus first…the greatest servant leader of all time.
What good would it be for me to gain success, power, influence, and significance if I can’t stand behind those I have put before me to achieve it? Amazing people whose lives would still be in shambles had I not lost mine, and people that have enriched my life more than they could possibly know. How sad my life would be today had I chosen to save my life and never experience theirs.
I am thankful for the Word of God. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. The entrance of this very word brings light and understanding to the simple.
Simply put…..I would lose my life all over again to gain what I have thus far. The greatest thing about it is…..I have only just begun!
Lose your “self” today—find someone to serve!