The Fear of Oblivion- Are you Resilient? Lest We Forget: Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, Resilient
Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day is a Memorial Day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the resilient members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. I was pleased to do a more detailed research of the story behind Remembrance Day and it can be found if you read my previous Article, Remembrance Day: Forget Them Not

Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget, Resilient
Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

Centenary Commemorations for the Armistice

As we approach the centenary commemorations for the Armistice, the world will once again turn its attention to the events of 100 years ago.

Remembrance Day
The Imperial War Museum records and tells the stories of those who have lived, fought and passed in battle since 1914. As the 2 world wars that defined the twentieth century slip from living memory, war memorials maintain their tradition, a roll call of the fallen that reminds us of the fragility of peace. On Remembrance Day, 2 minutes of silence forms a bridge to the past. Gone however not forgotten, we will constantly remember them– those who given a lot for the freedoms we take pleasure in today.

Approximately 1.1million Commonwealth servicemen and women are still commemorated at 23,000 CWGC sites today. Imagine that! But for the Commission, it is also a time to look to the future. How will they continue to maintain those sites? What are the challenges they will face for the next 100 years? The Commonwealth War Graves

Foundation (CWGF) is a charitable foundation that highlights the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) by telling the stories of the 1.7m people the CWGC commemorates. Visit the following link for more information on how you can help: https://www.cwgc.org/

Even though I have not been able to visit many of the places I have written about, due to today’s technology, I am able to experience and understand the world a lot better. Technological advances have fueled globalization. Most people would agree that we can still get things done around the world more quickly than we previously were able to.

However due to technological pressures to streamline operating standards and procedures, we now run the risk of threatening individual’s livelihood and our societies most precious traditions, values and beliefs. The fear of oblivion is like a turbulent storm seen from the distance but fast approaching.

Perhaps the most powerful of the global changes we now face are the incredibly swift and increasingly rapid advances in telecommunications.

Most recently I came across information regarding a twelve-year study of Illinois Bell Telephone employees which I found most useful and informative. The founders of the Innovative Hardiness Institute in Newport Beach, California, stated that more than experience or training, resilience in the face of stressful situations and rapid changes determines whether you ultimately succeed or fail in the workplace. It allows you to thrive even in tumultuous (I like that word) conditions and to turn potential disasters into growth opportunities.

So where does resilience come from?

The Art of being Resilient

According to Deborah M. Khoshaba, who was already a professional psychologist for fifteen years at the time the book “Resilience at Work” was published, and was also a Director of Program Development and Training at the Hardiness Institute, you can learn to be resilient. When a person is under stress or find themselves in a stressful situation, if they are able to cultivate a group of attitudes and skills that help them to build on their stressful circumstances and not to be undermined by the situation, Deborah called that “hardiness”.

Hardiness emerged as the basis for resilience in their twelve-year, longitudinal study of the employees at Illinois Bell Telephone (IBT), as the company and its parent, AT&T, experienced a catastrophic upheaval when telephone services went from being a federally regulated monopoly to being a competitive industry.

Unfortunately, the massive, disruptive changes that followed greatly affected the performance, conduct and heath of two-thirds of the employees in their research at the time and many people fell apart. However, in strong contrast, the resilient third not only survived, but also thrived! They rose to the top of the heap, and felt more enthusiastic and capable than before, as they turned the changes into opportunities. They found that the resilient group had the hardy attitudes of commitment, control and challenge (CCC or Triple C) Lol!

These 3Cs gave them the courage and drive to face the disruptive changes and because of their courage, bravery and motivation, the resilient group was better able to cope with the various challenges by finding solutions to the problems that arose and interacting supportively with those around them. In the twenty years since the IBT project, more than four hundred studies around the world have further validated “hardiness” as the key to resilience.

Salvatore R. Maddi on being resilient

Salvatore R. Maddi, who at the time the book “Resilience at Work” was published, had already obtain his doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University in 1960 and began developing the resilience and hardiness approach in 1975. He later founded the Hardiness Institute in 1984.

He has been the author of over 100 papers and is internationally recognized as a leader in psychology, and continues to win prestigious awards for his hardiness-based consulting and research work. An international survey done in 1986 named him among the top 175 psychologists in the world.

Considering that it is now 2018, I am “tickled pink” to be learning from the wealth of knowledge he was kind enough to share with the world. He clearly has no reason to fear oblivion. I fervently believe his research will stand the test of time.

“All knowledge cannot be expressed in words, yet our education is based almost exclusively on its written or spoken forms…. But the artist, dancer or spiritual person have learned to develop the nonverbal portion of intelligence.”

Robert Ornstein

Speaking of spirituality, do you know who and what else will never have to fear oblivion? The Bible and the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible has always been and I strongly believe, will always be the best-seller year after year until the end of time and is peppered with many prophecies.

In our fallen and double-minded world, we can either be encouraged or terrified by prophecy.
In 2 Peter 1:19 of the New International Version (NIV) it states,

“19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shinning in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts”.

And it continues to solidify verse 19 in verses 20 and 21 by saying the following:

“20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.

21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.

In the Old Testament there are many stories of the prophets of Israel. One story in particular features the Priest Ezekiel who was among the Judeans that Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon in 597 BC.

Five years into their exile, God called Ezekiel to go to Israel and “speak my words to them” or prophesy.

The Priest Ezekiel often spoke his messages by composing exceptionally polished poetic oracles which he would either speak or perhaps sing to the public. He was also known to be a very talented and creative individual and told many of his stories with symbolic meanings, symbolic actions and often described and demonstrated his extraordinary visions that he had received to the public using his various abilities.

It’s interesting to note however in Ezekiel Chapter 2 verses 14, that when he was called to be a prophet, he wasn’t exactly jumping with joy. It says he went on his mission in bitterness and anger.

I believe there are still true prophets among us today, however we need to be cautious of people- even those inside the Church, who astonish us with their exploits.

Astonishment or amazement is not enough. I sincerely believe it wise for us as believers to observe their lives and determine if they have truly been transformed. Many people agree that we should be able to see conviction, repentance, love and unity taken place within their lives.

I strongly believe that people can be very susceptible or naïve when they have never experienced the power of the Lord. When supernatural things take place that they don’t understand or can not explain, they may call it divine or of God. But watch out!

Just because a person believes in Christ does not automatically qualify him or her to receive everything that is divine.

I believe spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy is very much needed in the church today, but many who are ignorant regarding how God choses to deliver the Spirit, may feel that they can imitate the Spirit. They may even believe it’s a gift that can be purchased.

But the bible said that for every supernatural gift that comes from God, satan has made a substitute. Ancient diviners or psychics have foretold events by countless methods but the Priest Ezekiel has warned us against this in the entire book of Ezekiel Chapter 13. It reads as follows:

1 The word of the Lord came to me:

2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imaginations: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’

3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins.

5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.

6 Their visions are false and their divination a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words.

7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares”, though I have not spoken?

8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words, and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord.

9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.

10 “Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with white-wash,

11 Therefore, tell those who cover it with white-wash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.

12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the white-wash you covered it with?”

13 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.

14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with white-wash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.

15 So, I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,

16 Those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

17 “Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them

18 And say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own?

19 You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have sparred those who should not live.

20 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.

21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

22 Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,

23 Therefore, you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord”.

Wow! That’s some serious revelations right there!

However, as I stated previously, the Apostle Peter calls prophecy a “light that shines in a dark place” (II Peter 1:19).

I also believe that even though their may be different interpretations of prophetic theories, some things are still held in common by all legitimate people involved:

1 Jesus Christ, Son of God, is Savior and Lord
2 The Bible is the Word of God
3 Jesus Christ is coming back again (Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:3 and 3:15, John 3:2-3 etc.)

So, I ask these simple questions. Do you fear oblivion? Are you living your life with purpose and would you classify yourself as resilient?

Once again, we see in the Bible, around 65 AD, where the Apostle Peter, who was an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus, was imprisoned in Rome by the Emperor Nero.

During that time, he realized that he would soon be executed, but he knew it was of great importance that the ministry of Jesus be confirmed and therefore he once again wrote another letter to the believers, confirming Jesus’ ministry and warning against false teachers.

In powerful imagery Peter describes the false teachers’ destructive effect on the community and the judgement that awaits them.

Peter knew that the Messiah’s return had only been delayed because God wanted everyone to repent and I still believe that to be true today. So, in the NIV bible in 2 Peter Chapter 3:1-9 it reads,

“1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation”.

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Wow!

As I have become more involved in the mentorship of young Caymanians in the Cayman Islands, I have come to realize that in order to become a more effective teacher and mentor, I will need to get deeper in the word of God. And guess what else has also become apparent? Mentorship and discipleship go hand in hand.

Discipleship teaches us how to understand God’s word and pray, while mentoring demonstrates how to live life.
The Bible is full of mentoring examples: Elijah mentored Elisha, Moses mentored Joshua, Jesus mentored the disciples and there was even the story of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth.

You know what else I found out? The Lord created women to desire to be in relationships. Not only passionate couple relationships, but sibling relationships as well as close friendships.

I believe He felt it was healthy and beneficial for us to partner with each other and offer support and assistance, when necessary, along life’s journey.

I pray that the Lord our Savior Jesus Christ will continue to see it beneficial to guide and protect me and my family as we blossom in grace and love and grow from strength to strength in faith.

To him be the glory both now and forever!

Amen.

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