In a few days, I will be speaking on a Social Entrepreneurship/Innovation panel at a business conference organized by students in three Montreal-based business schools including my alma mater McGill. I realized that I am not trying to “prepare” for my talk. My life, my businesses, my schedule, my various engagements as they are right now, prepare me. Nothing in my life needs to be put on hold. Every aspect of my life, even at home, is a preparation without trying to be. All I will be talking about, even from a business standpoint, is what I do, what we do – check Zenith Cleaners’ blog – albeit refreshingly different from business as usual. I am therefore not apprehensive about my talk. I am ready for it this minute because, as far as social entrepreneurship goes, my talk is my walk and my walk is my talk.
There is immense value in living ready. My wife Ronké says, “You do not prepare for battle on the battlefield” – little wonder I am like this. The best way to prepare for the day of reckoning, which happens often in this life and in the hereafter is to not have to prepare – just live ready. We can structure our lives such that day to day living is a preparation, a step by step fulfillment of and preparation for destiny. When he eventually took the reins of power, Winston Churchill said, “I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.” Beautiful. Mike Murdoch also said, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
It is much easier to handle responsibility or significance when my life has been a preparation. It is much easier to live a life that prevents set backs than to try to handle set backs when they occur. It is harder to trust God when the going gets worse if I have not lived a life of faith when the going is good. My primary way of living prepared for any “positive” or “negative” eventuality in my life including staff quitting, three of which just happened, is putting God first, above everything and above everyone. I figured that if I focus on pleasing God who “fills all in all”, I am prepared, I have everything covered and that simplifies my life beyond description.
There are people right now worried about 2012 for example or about death. I am certain no one knows the day nor the hour, which could be more worrisome. But, if you live ready like the five virgins Jesus spoke about, who had oil in their lamps, for all you care, the second coming of Christ may as well happen this instant. The beauty of living prepared is that you do not need to focus on a million to do’s. As Jesus Christ said, “One thing is needful.” Since these are the Creator’s words, it is Truth, whether I agree or not. If I am torn like Martha in many different directions, I am missing it somewhere.
Living ready is so much simpler than we may realize. In order to simplify my life and restructure my life into a preparation, I may have to say “No” to very legitimate demands like Jesus was asking Martha to. One thing I got from reading Bill Clinton’s memoir and which I have taken to heart is that “Your life is shaped by the opportunities you turn down as well as by those you seize.” If it allows me to live ready, ready for greater significance and responsibility and simultaneously ready to face my maker, I will let go even of “worthwhile” engagements without hesitation, not to talk of ignoble pursuits.
I do not have to prepare for my talk, all I have to do is to go and talk my walk. Life can be simple, light and anxiety-free. Believe me, it makes me ready to break into a joyful dance whether I have a talk to give or I have just realized that Jesus Christ will soon appear.