Connecting To A Higher Power

Persistence means trying again and again, but it also means knowing how to give up control. Allowing in your Higher Power helps you relinquish that desire for control and trust the process.

The story is told of a wise rabbi who saw a man running breathlessly through the marketplace.

“Why on earth are you running so fast?” asked the rabbi.

“What do you mean, why am I running so fast? I am in pursuit of my livelihood!” said the man.

“How do you know that your livelihood is in front of you, and you are running to catch up with it? Maybe it is behind you, and you are actually running further away from it!”

In truth, all too often we are unable to be absolutely sure whether we are onto a good thing in our lives or whether we are on the wrong track, whether a particular opportunity or project will yield fruit or not. Nonetheless, when we realize that there is a higher power involved, that our efforts will be successful if that is what the universe wants, we can feel assured that we are more likely to be running in the right direction.

In 2013 Mitchell J. Neubert and three colleagues at Baylor University investigated the connection between faith and entrepreneurship by examining data from a survey that queried 1,714 U.S. adults about their religious habits. They found that entrepreneurs pray more frequently than other people and were more likely to believe that God was personally responsive to them. They also attended houses of worship more frequently than their peers.

This was a very interesting finding. As a nation, statistics show that Americans are becoming less religiously inclined. What is the connection between entrepreneurship and praying?

Biblical tradition emphasizes toil, pursuit of livelihood, supporting one’s family, going out into the world, and not living a monastic lifestyle. At the same time, there is striving to remain cognizant of a Higher Power that guides life. It is this recognition that helps one to remain a little detached, to maintain a certain spirituality even whilst being totally immersed in materialistic concerns.

People often bristle at the notion of a higher power because human beings, and especially leaders, crave control—over situations, settings, and perceptions of self. We want our lives to be how we envision them: successful, filled to the brim with pleasure, happiness, and love.

The problem is that trying to be in control is a heavy, exhausting burden. When we try to control the outcome of everything, what doesn’t go the right way becomes not only our fault, but also a devastating blow to the self. On the other hand, understanding that there is a governing force behind everything takes away the burden of control. Whatever is going to happen is just going to happen. Think about swimming in a river.

The river is going to flow however it flows. The river is more powerful than the swimmer. The swimmer cannot control the river. The swimmer can fight the current, wasting energy and not making much progress. Or the swimmer can swim with the river and join the river on its course, saving energy and reaching the end point. Though it may not be where the swimmer first had in mind, the swimmer has still successfully progressed from Point A to Point B with minimal exhaustion.

Ironically, it is harder to not fight the current. It is tough to humbly admit that one cannot control everything. If anyone ever needed proof of this, look at how unpredictable the world is. A top executive could be earning millions one day, and fall from grace, losing everything, the next. Somebody else, with no experience, comes up with a brilliant idea and becomes a millionaire overnight.

The world is described as a wheel which is constantly turning, like a Ferris wheel. Sometimes we find ourselves on the top, other times on the bottom. When we are on the top, we have to remember how easy it is to end up on the bottom, and that it is only due to Providence and kindness that we are prospering, not only because of our own efforts. This also enables us to appreciate more deeply that, but for the grace of the Universe, we might be on the bottom, and to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

By being connected to a Higher Power, you will be tapped into an infinite amount of energy. It is this energy that will allow you to persist, to get up when things don’t work out and try again and again until they do.

“Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”