The Disappointments and Triumphs of a Grassroots Effort, by Kelly Gneiting
“Begin with the end in mind” is an oft-quoted phrase. It’s a formula for success from many of our society’s successful entrepreneurs and teachers such as Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey.
This statement epitomizes faith.
In this glorious cause of restoring freedom and the rights to life, liberty, and property, I have learned from experience that all hell has and will continue to conspire to ensure the battle for equity and justice is lost. Equity and Justice today are being redefined to mean that a person does NOT have the right, necessarily, to life, liberty, and property—as many unjustly detained, and/or those who are entrapped by the IRS will attest.
A slightly modified quote from Thomas Jefferson reads, “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.”
The problem is rebelling takes courage; it takes risk. Rebelling is unpopular, and draws the “are you crazy” looks from the masses. And there are so many people rebelling in the wrong way, that for the most part these looks are warranted.
But what if you know the end result? What if you know that our Savior will reign someday over a free country, in a society without poor and without want? If you KNOW this, what then do you do? Which fork in the road do you take?
One of the disappointments of a grassroots effort is that it requires the ultimate commitment of patience. John Adams said it best amidst our Founder’s grassroots efforts:
“Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this… You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to see the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists, die slaves, die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.”
How popular is that? Death? For what?
Most don’t venture, and many who DO venture are easily reclaimed, as Jesus attested in the parable of the seeds. Said he:
Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: (Matthew 13)
These are the disappointments of a grassroots effort.
I have always been inspired by the story of Christopher Columbus, who led a grassroots effort. Said he:
“…our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise [undertaking] called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed.”
As the veteran in the movie Braveheart concluded to William Wallace, “Fight? Against that? No. We will run. And we will live.”
As it was yesterday is how it is today.
Consider yourself an NBA All-star. You’ve never had an NBA title, and three teams offer you money to play for them. The team offering you the most bucks has three other All-stars, and made it to the NBA Finals last year. The team offering you 2 million dollars LESS has one or two good players, and won 50% of their games last year. The final team, offering you 5 million LESS, has been virtually forgotten about within the league—winning only 10% of their games while being riddled with not only injury, but inter-organizational turmoil and low morale.
Given these offers on the table, what team would most athletes play for?
Many, to most, would use paycheck only to determine their decision. The fattest wallet combined with the real opportunity to finally win an NBA title, and soon, would seal the deal. The thought of being an American icon, the Nike contract, and a retirement job with TNT’s “Inside the NBA” would be captivating.
A much rarer type of person considers the good players of the second team’s offering, and believes that with a lot of hard work, and NBA championship is within reach. He may also consider the physical climate of each NBA city, availability of family, and other amenities beyond the likeliness of fame and fortune.
A third, and almost non-existent type of person would see the challenge of being part of a story that would bring a team from nothing to an NBA championship as extraordinarily compelling. This option would be seen as an INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY for him. Moreover, his faith is that the world would conspire to make it happen!
For this type of person the story of the team’s grassroots rise to glory is the paycheck, not the money or fame. This person sees himself not only putting the ball through the hoop, but lifting others to their full potential through friendship and true leadership.
Which deal would you choose?
Now let’s say there is a fourth option. Your sister calls you from Los Angeles and says that an inner-city basketball program for high school youth has been struggling for some years to get off the ground. There are a number of potential big-dollar sponsors on-board but these companies are now hesitating because of their doubt in the program’s success. She tells you that the program’s central thrust is to get kids off the street, and attract teachers’ and local residents’ added participation and pride in their community.
All they’d need to be successful is an All-star NBA basketball player to show up and involve himself on the program’s board of directors. This would seal the deal!
Consider which of these four options would be popular and which would be the real grassroots effort.
The triumph of a grassroots effort is a reward WAY beyond money, fame, or the power to coerce others.
Those who lead these efforts are the ones Jesus spoke of at His conclusion in the parable of the seeds; “other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
In the case of John Adams, he DID live to see the fruits of his labors—that of the helping to establish the only truly free society on Earth.
In the case of Christopher Columbus, he discovered a new land, allowing America to be colonized by European immigrants. His explanation to the world after this triumph was, “…but who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?”
The triumph in being part of the IAP’s grassroots efforts is that these are the same joys of accomplishment that we see for our future. Not the perceived joys of self-preservation, money, fame, or ease, but the joys of being part of God’s plan for humanity—a free society governed by the King of kings, and perpetually free—the dream-come-true of America’s Founders.
Do the vain things of the world really trump this?