A win is a win;
Even loss has gain.
Who is betting on you…
The odds might seem to be against YOU. The hand that YOU have been dealt has a bunch of cards that YOU don’t know how to play. The dice have been loaded. The game seems to be fixed. The race has been compromised. It’s YOU against what seems to be a more than formidable opponent. And YOU might be getting cheated.
And it is not fair.
But no fight is fair.
I remember growing up in Illinois and always hearing those old lottery commercials with that slogan,
“Somebody’s gotta lotto, might as well be you!”
That was brilliant marketing! It made YOU hope. That little sentence promised so much opportunity and treasure. It was a genius campaign that I’m sure was very instrumental in inspiring and motivating millions of people to “try their luck” at those lottery games in hope and desire of striking it rich. The lottery symbol was a rainbow attached to a pot of gold. Every day and night, for years now, people have searched out that pot. In essence, and in truth, many of them have spent way more money chasing that pot of gold than the actual amount that they could ever win! And the game is setup that way. It is not meant for everyone to win. It could not survive if everyone won. It could not survive if half of everyone won. It couldn’t survive if one third of the people who played won. The only way that “somebody is going to lotto” is if mostly everyone else doesn’t. And that “mostly” is pretty much all of the rest of the people.
Are YOU playing the “lotto” of life?
It would seem that life mirrors this tragedy of happening as we observe what the general belief and reality of our circumstances would suggest. It seems like a few people are winning at the expenses of a whole lot of other people losing. And with every sure to come day, the disparity and distance between the few winners and the lot of losers ever-widens. The gap today is as broad as the game itself. And while these truths exist, we are still gambling. Taking ill-advised risk and chance on the odds of overcoming or overthrowing the regimes of impoverished mind-sets and historical failures, generational set-backs and other abundant factors and reasons for our “losing”. We are ambitious and audacious. But are we not right to believe that, “Somebody’s gotta be blessed, might as well be us”? It is a natural conclusion of which to arrive, that “fair” is possible, that “equal” is achievable, that “justice” is a guaranteed profit of trusting in the “rules” of such this game. Isn’t it?
If YOU bet on a winner…
I spoke at a Black History program recently in my hometown of Harvey, Illinois. It was a small event with a very small crowd in a little church in the community that I grew up in. The community that my relatives and friends live in. The community and schools that educated me. I was invited to come and do some poetry by a friend who had never heard me do poetry. She only knows me as the guy who has been cutting her hair for a couple years. I recently gave up barbering and the decision was much to her dismay as well it was to many people who don’t really know my passion for writing and performing. I was actually a little nervous going into the show because of where it was. When I got the invitation I thought that church was located in the city of Chicago. When I received the text containing the address I was shocked and taken aback by what I consider just another part of God’s amazing plan that my life is planning out to be. So I was a little nervous because one of my first events since I stepped out on faith would be in the same community that had once cultivated that faith but would also then be the very place that would destroy that very faith. The very place that is in the area of what, for these last 20 years, had been my “losing” season. I remembered always seeing this very church as I was growing up. It is located in a very familiar place to me. And seeing it and being in it brought up many memories and feelings that had my stomach and feelings both churning with anxiousness. I don’t know if it showed, I’m pretty good at masking my emotions, but as I say I was quite a bit nervous.
But the show must go on. And I know how to put on a show.
I took a BIG gamble by walking away from my job with no plan or money saved up. I walked away from a “comfortable” that I have come to rely on for a very long time. I jumped off of the cliff of well-known into an abyss of all kinds of possibility. But I believe in me. I know what I can do. I know what I have in my heart. I know what I am willing to do to get where I am wanting to go. So I am confident in the fact that I will win. I have told everyone about the fact that I believe that I have reached a point in my life where I was willing to risk it “all” to do this. I have no other option actually, I’ve got to make this work. And so they called my name and I went up. And I did my thing. I gave them a pretty good show I believe. They loved it. The MC remarked after I was done that it would be impossible to not have learned something from my performance. I had looked over the faces of the audience as I spoke and in them I could see their approval and their excitement for my talent, for my gift, for my purpose. I am always motivated at the opportunity to speak life into any atmosphere. I know what it does for a person to be inspired. To be pushed to the limits of optimism and hope through the arts. I love it when these very arts teach at that same while they are entertaining. And I have practiced and studied to perfect this specific task for all of my life. It’s like studying a game before playing it. I know how this works, and I am ready to play!
And then they introduced the guest preacher…
When the preacher came into the pulpit and told the congregation which scripture of the bible to turn to, I remained seated. He had instructed us to go to Job. I got lost in the moment. I was blown away that he had chosen the story of Job. I happened to glance up and realized that everyone else was standing while he was reading the words. I probably looked like a rebellious, disrespectful heathen while they were all standing and I’m seated, on my phone. But my bible is in an app on my phone. And I wasn’t being disrespectful. I had gotten distracted. I couldn’t stop reading! Then I snapped out of my trance, and stood up and came back to where he was reading. But for the record, one of the most profound scriptures that I am familiar with in the bible comes from Job, Job 3:25…
Job 3:25 KJV
 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
By saying “Job” he had my attention. And then he began his sermon. I can’t really write here everything that he was teaching but the main point that I got was this: So the devil comes to God about testing the faith of humanity. God asks the devil has he paid any attention to Job, who was an extremely blessed man and who had everything going for him. The devil tells God that he is familiar with Job but he tells God that the only reason that Job is the way he is and believes as he does is because God has his hands on him. The devil asks God to let him, the devil, attack Jobs life to prove that he did not really have faith. And God agrees but he instructs the devil that he can only do so much. In the text, Job eventually loses everything, and almost everyone, and even his health is compromised. There are two verses in the book of Job that I always remember, Job 3:25 and Job 13:15,
Job 13:15 KJV
 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Those two scriptures have been so key in me learning and leading a particular life. The part about being “slayed” yet trusting God, or trusting the process and remaining true to the self that is true in itself as well as 3:25 which I have always interpreted as saying that YOUR greatest fear is possible as a response to YOUR faith in that fear. Job says that the thing he most feared had come, upon and unto, on and to him. Those of YOU who know me, know my belief in numbers and how I’m always “connecting dots”, well the worse day of my life was March 25, 1994, 3/25.
And well the preacher kept reading…
Then he announced the title of the sermon,
“God is betting on YOU!”
Hmmmm. He preached that the reason that God could give the devil permission to go after Job was because He, God, knew that Job would win. Hmmmmph. He knew that Job would prevail. Wow.
Let me say that I do not adhere to everything in the bible. I don’t follow everything in the scriptures. I get it though. I believe that the bible is amazing in its moral relevance and some of its teaching. And I recognize it as a manual that is deliberate and direct in its ability to guide those who read it. I struggle with taking all of it at face value. I’m very analytical and I tend to over-analyze information haphazardly, and with an extreme consistency. I think too much and the bible puts a lot on the mind. The bible coupled with organized religion and it’s idiosyncrasies have caused a great deal of confusion and trouble for me, as well as many others that I know. But I believe that there are parts in it that are right on. I believe that the Quran has parts that are too. And the Torah. As I believe that all of the religions contain a piece of what our ultimate truth is. So, there are parts that I disagree with. There are parts that I don’t understand. But I know that there is a God. I believe in Him. I trust Him. I know that He is possible and real and I have a life story that proves this so. I know God as the creator. I know God as the Father. I know God as the Judge.
But I never thought about Him, God, “betting” on me. Wow!
That makes a difference. That changes the scope of things. It makes sense. It answers a question. It strengthens a belief and a belief system of mine. That really makes a difference.
After church was over and we were leaving out I went over and told the preacher that I had enjoyed his sermon very much. I told him that I was going to use that lesson for my life. And we left.
Who is betting on YOU?
It makes every difference that YOU realize and recognize that God is betting on YOU. It is a guarantee, it is a surety, it is a confidence, it is a certainty. It changes the game. And in the greater scheme of things it is the “enough” that YOU need. It is the all that YOU need. It is the everything that YOU need to “win”! But right where YOU are, YOU need to check whose got odds that YOU won’t. YOU need to find out who the “devils” are that are asking for permission from God to test YOU, to tear YOU down, to terminate YOUR game.
Some people that are in YOUR corner aren’t on YOUR side. They are not betting that YOU win. They are not rooting YOU on. It’s like a crap table, some people put just as much money or even more on YOU “crapping out”. They win if YOU don’t. THEY GET AHEAD IF YOU FALL BEHIND! They win when YOU lose. Sometimes they win a lot when YOU lose!
So the question is, who IS betting on YOU?…
It is time for YOU to find out who does want to see YOU win. It is time for YOU to be backed by some people that can positively affect YOUR outcome and so they support YOU with the confidence and competence of action that protects and promotes YOUR best interest. It’s time for YOU to either get a team or get on one. If YOU have one and the fact is that they are not all on YOUR side, it’s time for YOU to trade or get traded! It is time for YOU to realize and recognize who believes in YOU and who believes YOU. It is time for YOU to stop playing a game that YOU don’t have a chance at winning and do what will. My dad always tells me that, “A broken clock is right twice a day.” It is time for YOU to realize that some of the people and some of the advice that those people are giving YOU just seems right, and might be a great tip or tool at a moment, but that information is coming from broken sources. And why play a game where YOU might win? YOU can win. YOU can choose winning. YOU will win. That “somebody’s gotta, might as well be you”, mentality will defeat YOU. It is a trap. It gets YOU comfortable with mediocrity and with failure and with losing. It changes the game. YOU need to change the game. YOU need to make the rules. YOU need to play YOUR game!
And know that when someone that knows YOU are going to win, bets that YOU will win, well, YOU WIN!
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers