Last Sunday, the Message was on Jesus: The Great Strategist. It laid out important elements of a successful strategy, arguing that Jesus had a successful strategy, and THAT strategy is a model for successful, meaningful and joyful living. It begins with a magnificent objective. It proceeds by daily actions to achieve the objective. It includes assembling necessary assets (in Jesus’ case, it was the people, and people are almost always an important asset.)
The enactment of Jesus’ strategy included wisdom in its prosecution. Politics is sometimes defined as “the art of the possible.” Sailboats must sometimes “tack;” that is, sailboats cannot sail directly into the wind. When sailing against the wind, the sailor must set his sails at an angle which is partially in the direction he wants to go. If he wants to sail west (and into the wind), he might sail Southwest for a time; then change course to northwest. At the proper angles the sails will fill and propel the boat more or less toward the goal. So it is in achieving in life. Sometimes we must be adroit and artful, courteous and diplomatic; understanding and empathetic, taking our time to “get there.”
The “mini-goals” and the main goal must be pursued with un-relenting determination.
For Jesus, the cause was bigger than He was. For Him, to live in that authentic and “God pleasing” manner was more important than ease, comfort, fame or even life itself. And what Jesus did, has been inspiring and life-changing for the hundreds of millions who have followed Him, including not only Christians, but some have been and are Jews, Buddhists, and those of no religion. Millions can sing “He lives in my heart.”
So, for us, too, there needs to be a GREAT PURPOSE or life objective. We need a great strategy for living.
We also need to assemble the right assets: developing our talents and learning, enlisting allies, and marshaling personal, inter-personal and spiritual resources. Like Jesus, we need unrelenting perseverance, and 10,000 hours practice. And, it is so much easier if (as is sung in the hymn) “Jesus is all the World to me….”