If You Want To Change The World ... Start Off By Making Your Bed!
By: Dr. Jake Baker -TapWires News Service
In a very short but absolutely brilliant speech Retired Admiral, William H. McRaven makes a point so profound that I believe it is a message that must be shared by every patriot who hears the clarion call to stand up for America in this present darkness.
To be sure, life isn’t easy. Death, disappointment, rejection, business setbacks, failure … it’s called life. But to those who persevere – to those who stand up to be counted – to those who refuse to quit despite opposition, dreams unfulfilled, false accusations, betrayal and heartache, to those, who understand that life is fleeting, and is basic training, life becomes the battle testing that leads to a victory march all the way to eternity.
There is very little I can say or convey to the unfortunate millions who have surrendered to disappointment or the purgatory of fear, who have chosen to sleep-walk through life. Sadly, they do little more than just mark time. To those sad masses, I can only offer my sincere condolences – they may have avoided the agony of failure or have been taken prisoner by it, but in doing so, they have also missed out on the ecstasy of winning – the pure joy of purpose and walking out their destiny with courage and unswerving purpose. For those poor souls I have but two words … “wake up.”
It is my firmly held belief that each of us – all of us, has a destiny. You have been called for a purpose. Scripture says that before you were even formed in your mother’s womb God not only knew you but called you for a purpose. You have a destiny that no one else in the history of all humanity can fulfil. You and you alone can walk out that destiny. You are both unique and vitally important.
Sometimes life throws us a curve. We find ourselves lost alone and in the middle of nowhere. Ask yourself this, what happens to the world if I, if we – all of us just decide to call it quits, and sit on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere? There is a country song which says, “If you going through hell, don’t stop walking.”
I know what some of you are thinking – I’m just an ordinary person. I’m not super smart, have no great reservoir of talent, I just don’t have superstar qualities. And to that I say nonsense. You are the star of your own life. With a single word you can change the course of history and it begins with those simple words shared with a son or daughter, a husband or wife, to the new person at work, to the grocer, or that little old lady on the street corner struggling to find a way across the street.
While living in St. Louis, Missouri, I remember preaching across the border in southern Illinois in a small-town church in the outskirts of St. Louis. I preached for about an hour probably about 10,000 words, but by God’s design, just 15 of those words changed the life of a young mother, her husband, her children, her family, and who knows how many other lives.
About two thirds of the way through the sermon I said, “God doesn’t care where you slept last night, he cares where you are this morning.” There was a young lady in attendance who had been unfaithful to her husband and the guilt was literally destroying her. In her utter despair she had determined to drop her kids off for Sunday School and return home to end her life. She could simply not face what she had done … but seeing someone strange in the front of the church she decided to stay until the children were dismissed for “children’s church.”
In that 60 minutes, 3600 seconds in total, history at least for this young lady was changed in a span of only 5 seconds, a fraction of a minute and her life was saved, changed, and history was changed because two small children didn’t have to live with the fact that their mother had committed suicide and left them alone. A young father didn’t have to spend his life wondering … Why? I don’t write my sermons – so those words were not part of my “great” plan – but they were a part of God’s loving plan for her life.
Here is my point - you are called to greatness and it is the little things that matter. I didn’t plan that 5 seconds, but I showed up and Yahweh did what He does. The question is will you show up. Because 90% of greatness is being there.
The problem with most of us is that we have a false definition of greatness. We believe to be great we must be a George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr. But it is important to understand that greatness is not what the world deems, great. Greatness, for all of us for any of us, is simply walking out our destiny.
What is your destiny? Is it to take on the world, to grab a lance and tilt at crooked politicians or corrupt institutions? Possibly. Or it may be the simple courage and grace to find a boy in your neighborhood who desperately needs someone to look up to. Maybe there’s a family in hard times whose life would be changed by a simple bag of groceries. It may be refusing to back down when someone at work challenges or mocks you for your faith. Or it may be bringing a simple cup of coffee for your wife or husband on a quiet Sunday morning.
Greatness is not defined by what the world knows of you but by what you know of yourself. Yes, some of us are called to slay Goliath. Some of us are called to tend David’s sheep while he goes and slays the giant. Victory relies on both. Some of us are called to charge into the darkness of this world and meet it head on. Some of us are called to hold a single candle and dispel the darkness that is around us. Do you understand the power that is in your hands? Just one simple candle – holds the darkness at bay where you are. When at sea a single light can be seen for miles. We can only imagine what a million candles standing together might look like.
In 1879 when a small contingent of British soldiers took on thousands of Zulu warriors at the battle of Isandlwana with only a few hundred soldiers and engineers there were more than a few dicey moments. At one of the darkest points of the battle when the chanting and singing of the tens of thousands of Zulu warriors was driving the soldiers mad with terror, one lone soldier began singing “Men of Harlech.”
Sure, the Zulu song was like a verbal earthquake rumbling across the hills and plains, but in that redoubt, amongst those men, what they heard, loosened terrors grip on their hearts easing the paralyzing effects of sheer terror. That song, that one lone voice summoned the courage of the men and soon all were joining in and terror turned to resolve and resolve to courage, and with courage renewed they withstood withering attack after attack. That song, that one lone voice, change the course of history.
You are that one lone voice. Let this be your call to arms - your call to greatness. Whether you can inspire a nation with your words or simply stand as one lone voice that brings kindness and hope to a lost soul, you are desperately need in an often-silent world.
I am all about winning or as the scripture says being an over-comer, and there is one secret to winning that I have discovered and that every champion knows. It is a secret without which you will never taste victory, never see a foe vanquished, or a nation saved. That secret is this, “You have to show up!”
After showing up, life is simple. It is about doing one right thing – and then another – and then another. Retired Admiral, William H. McRaven made a video which is below this article. He titled his talk with these simple words. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” It is only about 6 minutes, but this video will inspire you – it is a call to greatness. Please don’t say, “I’ll watch it later.” Watch it now. I promise you it will be the best six-minute investment you have made in a long time.
Finally, be great. If you have been sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, rouse yourself. Get up – shake off the lethargy, the dread and terror. We have lives to change, a world to conquer, darkness to dispel … and beds to make.Christianity, Darkness, Greatness, Life, Winning, Retired Admiral WIlliam H. McRaven, Make YOour BEd, Overcomer