Episode 1: Ask – It’s That Simple
Ask – It’s That Simple
“Young man, you’ll never get anywhere in this world unless you ask for what you want from life!”
This was wise advice, I never forgot, from the boss in my first public service job in Canberra. One of life’s fundamental truths states: Ask and you shall receive. The world responds to those who ask. Most people in this world, however, never really achieve or receive what they hold in their dreams . . . because they just never ask… People who’ve mastered the art of asking know what they want, are clear about their vision, purpose and goals. They are passionate about what they are requesting. They act even when they feel fear. They are persistent – if at first they don’t receive, ask, ask, ask until they do. God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good, so that we know what to ask for.
Listen to the episode below, or continue on to read the transcript.
In my first job in the public service in Canberra, my boss was a gruff but very kindly, encouraging, down-to-earth type, who taught me how to ask. George was Secretary of the National Sheep Dog Association and his goal was to stage the National Sheep Dog Trials at a new venue in the A.C.T. He spared no effort in pursuing that end, and I frequently witnessed his telephone conversations as he sought sponsorship dollars to bring the dream to reality. He was bold and dogged (pardon the pun) in his approach. I listened in amazement as he made calls, asking for what he wanted. Finally, I asked George how he could be so bold with asking. I’ve never forgotten his words. “Terry, Jesus said, ‘Ask and it will be given to you. Young man, you’ll never get anywhere in this world unless you ask for what you want from life!” He went on to teach me one of the foremost rules of sales: “If you ask ten times, you’ll get two yeses! Two out ten ain’t bad.”
Well George got his new venue and, a few years later, was successful in inviting the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to attend the national championships. What a marvellous example of asking!
American author Mark Victor Hansen, who started the Chicken Soup series of books with Jack Canfield, teaches: “One of life’s fundamental truths states: Ask and you shall receive. Isn’t that simple? Of course, it is. The world responds to those who ask. Most people in this world, however, find themselves in settled lives, never really achieving or receiving what they hold in their dreams . . . because they just never ask…”
Hansen claims there are five reasons people fail to ask – ignorance, limiting and inaccurate beliefs, fear, low self-esteem and pride. Many of us don’t know what to ask for, who to ask, when to ask, or even how to ask. Since our childhood, we’ve been programmed by parents, schooling, religious training and even the media to STOP asking. Having learned all about rejection, embarrassment, vulnerability and hurt in our childhood and early adult years, we find it easier to settle for less than deal with fear that’s resulted from these past experiences. Most of us feel unworthy or inadequate to create the kind of life we want. Many of us are convinced we need to do everything for ourselves, or we’ll look foolish or lose respect among our family and peers.
“Chicken Soup for the Soul” was rejected by 144 publishers. With well over 100 million books sold to date, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, it is one of the most successful series of all time. Imagine what might have happened if Canfield and Hansen had stopped asking after 10 or even 100 rejections!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that whoever asks receives and that God will not fail to give His children good things. So, what we ask for must be good in God’s estimation. Jesus teaches, “Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” [John 14:13]. To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray based on Jesus’ authority, but it also involves praying according to the will of God, for the will of God is what Jesus always did. God knows what is good for us and is faithful and loving to say “no” to selfish and foolish prayers, no matter how much we want what we’re asking for.
People who’ve mastered the art of asking know what they want, are clear about their vision, purpose and goals. They are passionate about what they are requesting. They act even when they feel fear. They are persistent – if at first they don’t receive, ask, ask, ask until they do.
God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good, so that we know what to ask for. The natural mind cannot understand this. But, when we “… let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern … what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and mature [Romans 12:2]. Then, asking for what we need in faith, we will have all we need for life, godliness, and fullness of joy.
Look for the silver lining.
This is Terry Lees
[Music: Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles]