by RON NEWHOUSE
July 15, 2012
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9 NRSV)
on Hawkins in his book, NEVER GIVE UP, tells about a most unusual man with a somewhat unusual name--Hilary. Hilary is the president of a successful company and the author of several best-selling books.
During one phase of his life, though, Hilary was broke. He was despondent and without direction. During one five-year stretch he tried seventeen different businesses, most of which were unsuccessful. With a young wife and a newborn baby to care for, Hilary wasn't able to pay the $64 maternity cost. He had to go out and make some sales just to get his first baby out of the hospital! Then Hilary met an individual named P.C. Merrell. Merrell told him, "If you just believed in yourself and went to work on a regular schedule, incredible things would begin to happen." P.C. Merrell so motivated Hilary to believe in himself and his ability to sell, that in one year Hillary went from an abject failure without confidence to finish number two out of 7,000 salesmen. The following year he finished at the top, setting records that stand to this day, over forty years later.
During the weekend of July 4th, 1972, Hilary and his wife invited two ladies to spend the holiday weekend with them at their home in Dallas. They were a friend named Ann Anderson and a woman named "Sister Jesse," whom they had met at a convention in Nashville, Tennessee. As a result of that weekend he spent listening to these two unlikely people, Hilary came to trust Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. In his own words, "As a result of that weekend's experiences, I sold out lock, stock, and barrel to Jesus Christ."
Through these influences, Hilary was motivated to write two books that bear his more familiar name. The first, published in 1974, described the hope he regained in business. The second book explained the eternal and confident hope he obtained by becoming a Christian. Those books--SEE YOU AT THE TOP and CONFESSIONS OF A HAPPY CHRISTIAN--are among a number authored by a man who is far better known to millions of people around the world as Zig Ziglar.
Zig Ziglar discovered what millions of people before him discovered. Life has no meaning, no purpose, no real passion, if you try to go it alone. The risen Christ comes to each of us to confront us with how we are living our lives, to challenge us to focus not on our own needs but on the needs of others, and finally to say to us what he said to those disciples two thousand years ago: "Follow me."
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