Today is a day of celebration. My team was just was announced as one of the winners of this years 2020 Innovation for Good I-Prize Challenge. Out of 26 teams in the competition, we were one of three who receive incubation funding to see our idea move into reality. It always feels great to be recognized, and to be a winner, but I must be honest and state there are no losers in this event. The theme was Clean & Hygiene and all of the ideas, and Shark Tank style pitches, were excellent. Even without incubation funding, many will make it into reality and improve our lives and our environment. Now that is #winning.
For me this just caps off another stellar year. I am truly blessed (both at work and in my home life). All Glory to the “Big Man” for this… This positive string of events reminds me of a book I read many years ago called the Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson. This book was one of my favorites for a long time, and I still enjoy it and remember the prayer by heart. The prayer is very short, and found in 1 Chronicles 4:10
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”Jabez
This prayer is strange, in that Jabez calls out and boldly asks to be “blessed, indeed”. If you were to read the full chapter, you would see that this stands out even more, as the rest of the chapter is the Genealogy of the Family of Judah and the Family of Simeon. And what was the result of this bold prayer? The end of the passage is simply, “So God granted him what he requested.”
I remember being shocked when I learned this. I always thought that we should be humble and not seek blessings… Even more shocked that Jabez asked for his territory to be enlarged. In my youth this excited me into praying often that I would be wealthy. However, today I read this same paragraph with a different understanding. Today I picture “territory” as not possessions or wealth, but as the number of people I have the ability to interact with. In my new role, and with opportunities like the I-Prize, I have been given the ability to interact with hundreds, if not thousands of people I would likely have not met otherwise. This new “territory” allows me to demonstrate and show others my ‘self’ and hopefully a glimpse of my creator? This I admit is exciting and terrifying…
I must admit that I am not a scholar, and my interpretation of this is probably not accurate, but it helps me realize the impact I can make in others. I may not be financially wealthy, but I have enough and I am blessed in so many other ways. I have no idea where you are at, but my hope is that you are doing well. In a year full of pain and suffering, it is easy to look out and see all the negatives. I am praying for you, and that you might change your vision to see all the amazing things instead, and that you will be blessed indeed.