On June 28, 2016, a Statue of Mary Seacole (AKA Mother Seacole) was unveiled in London. A Jamaican, she is the first Black Woman to be honoured with a statue in Britain. She received that honour because of her commitment to wounded soldiers in the British-Crimean war during the mid-1800s. The suspicion is that she was much more effective in that war than Florence Nightingale. So much so, that since 1857, the British public have been seeking to have a public memorial of her work.
Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother, who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers.
She travelled widely and studied traditional and European medical ideas. She established the British hospital to provide “comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers” and also nursed the wounded on the battlefield – sometimes under the hail of gunfire.
But how does a simple woman of minority status get such recognition even when her race was so ostracized? My suspicion: preparation.
Little people getting big recognition
Why is it that so many simple people have accomplished such great feats?
– Mother Teresa, a simple Catholic nun, earned a Nobel Prize for her charity in India.
– Florence Nightingale, although born to wealth, became a humble nurse and is today credited with pioneering the nursing profession because of her good works.
– Moses, born to poor Jewish family became the one who led God’s people out of captivity even though he was hindered by ineloquence.
– Peter, an illiterate fisherman, became the face of the early church
– Jesus born to a carpenter and a housewife, became the greatest healer, teacher and saviou r of the world
The way to preparation
Where you end up has a lot to do with the road you choose. You don’t plant grapes and expect mangoes. If you place your treasures in hell, don’t expect a reward in heaven. The way you make your bed could determine the type of sleep you get.
The disciples in Acts 2, accomplish all manner of impossible feats for a group of fishermen and societal rejects
– They globalized the gospel
– In verses 41-43, they baptized 3000
– In chapter 3: 2-7, they healed a lame man
– In chapter 4:4, 5000 believed the gospel
– In the same book, Peter called Dorcus from the dead and pronounced the death of a couple.
Types of preparedness
Why were they so successful and recognized? The answer lies in preparation. Many of us believe that life just happens, and luck is the determinant of our circumstances. But if you are to be successful, you start with preparation. If you are to be debt free, you must start living within your means today. If you want to be financially secured, however little, you begin saving today. If you want to be healthy in your old age, you must begin healthy habits today.
Mother Teresa’s father died when she was very young which forced the family into poverty. She also taught in the middle of a slum in India which gave her the drive to help the poverty she saw around her. When Florence realized that she wanted to help sick and dejected people, she studied the science of nursing. When the disciples needed to carry out the commission, they waited for the Holy Ghost.
You cannot wait until you need something to learn to pray. Preparation is needed before that. More importantly, you cannot wait until God needs your service to get ready.
How did the disciples prepare for the earth-shattering events and miracles they performed?
Jesus had given them a task to spread the gospel in all the world. However, he unexpectedly left, and they had to remain to finish his work. Fortunately, he gave them prior instructions as to how to prepare for that task: Acts 2, “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” That was indeed the preparatory instructions that their master had left them. So, this is instructive for our spiritual readiness even today. This is certainly a method that the Christian Church must employ.
The recipe for success – Via Pentecost:
1. One accord – we must have a united vision – a clear understanding of our purpose
2. There must be relentless commitment to pray. We must pray as a group until we see manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
3. We must have leadership that is unselfish, motivated, and led by God, and is willing to always consult and wait on God.
That method may also be instructive for individuals. Sometimes we wonder why we are unable to perform feats such as those of the apostles and prophets of old. They seemed like ordinary men accomplishing impossible deeds. The thread that holds the great deeds of those men in antiquity was their time in preparation with God. Moses was in preparation for 40 years, and that same timid Moses with the lisp, commanded the Great Pharaoh to release the Israelites. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in preparation for his massive ministry. Your physical size and stature have little to do with your achievement, but preparation – especially spiritually – has everything to do with success.