“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgement.”
Everyman chooses a code to live by, somewhere between a chivalrous standard and a pragmatic set of self strained ideals. Its how you approach the challenges you face. It’s how you live your life. So, what distinguishes the Great performers from those who are satisfied with simply being good enough? When a man chooses a spiritual life, one that is guided by God; he begins to develop a place down deep inside him, a place so deep no other man can get at. That place where the roots grow to such depth, though the earth shakes and the storms come, you are as Doc Holiday said to Wyatt, an Oak.
We might read that the Great performers are Grateful, the Great Create and Manage Risk with success and are quit Comfortable being Uncomfortable. They are focused on just Being because they have Vision, which makes them Problem Solvers over managers of problems. They are eager to Learn and feel Responsible for the world around them, so they are constantly looking to Grow as men and are unencumbered by the restraints rules and religion.
No one would debate these principles; they have probably defined many of life’s Greatest Performers. They are principles however, that can be developed void of the God of creation; therefore, they posses no deep waters, no place that roots reach for depths and so strongly bind, no wind or quake can shake. Even Solomon, the wisest man of all time, fell because, oh yes, “he knew better?”
So what is a spiritual life? Do I have to become a Monk to live such a life? How do I seek such a life? Fair questions. The scripture tells us the Spirit of God will convict us, that we must seek the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness. These things take Faith, which believes in something unseen. Though I’ve yet to see the deep roots of a big oak, I have witnessed those torn from the ground when the wind has its way with something of shallow depth. Faith, you must keep coming back to this, conviction and seeking; employment and vocation, have little to do here.
The Atheist and the Agnostic would prefer we focus on the Great Performers only and those things which we can prove; because, that which can be proven, can be repeated. Faith, relies on Hope, Hope in things that Francis Schaefer once said “though there is not complete evidence, there is sufficient proof for us to believe”. You have started to ask yourself, like me, if some of the Greatest Performers ever held on because of Hope or simply achieved because of their Faith? Did they? Performance might become something entirely different if we choose this line of thought.
I don’t know the answers, I just know I have to keep coming back to the “conviction” and the “seeking”. Yes, it is a Faith thing. Have you tried living without it, and how is that going for you? Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce, Karol Jozef Wojtyla, George Washington, Eric Liddell, will the world ever see such men like these again, men who were convicted deeply and sought bravely. These were Great Performers whose faith and hope were undeniable, they left a fingerprint and fragrance long lingered in time. How do you describe faith to the man that demands stone solid proof of all things? I would say this, “Are you familiar with the fragrance of the rose?” Then, “Describe it for me”. Just keep coming back. Ain’t it so?