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Leah, Jacob, And Accelerated Progress Without Permission

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“All the self-made billionaires I know have one thing in common; they all got there because they were pursuing their dreams and didn’t ask anyone else for permission.” (Tom Oliver, Nothing is Impossible, available at Cleveland's Mac's Books)

At thirty years old, director James Cameron was broke. He dreamed of a story about a machine from the future coming back to the past to wreak havoc in the city. In his mind he saw the plot for the story that would become his major breakthrough movie, Terminator.

The highest grossing film in history, Avatar, was a movie years in the making in Cameron’s thoughts. Today because he pursued his vision, his net worth is close to a billion dollars.

It has been said that babies are only born with two fears, the fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. All other fears, especially the fear of rejection and the fear of failure, are learned behaviors. We pick them up from family members and peers and authority figures, and they get reinforced by our own self-talk and the outward and inward voices of the critics.

In the book of Genesis Jacob marries Leah, a woman he did not love that he was tricked into marrying. They begin to have children, and Leah names the kids in accordance to how their relationship goes, which is disastrous.

Her first son she names Reuban, which means ‘to see’, because she knows her husband does not see her but longs to marry her sister instead.

Her next son she names Simeon, which means ‘to hear’, because she knows her husband does not love her or listen to her needs.

Her third son she names Levi, which means ‘to attach’, because she hopes that after this many children together Jacob will bond with her. He does not.

Their final child’s name is incredibly significant, she names him Judah. For years she has been praying to God because her husband doesn’t see or notice her. She has called out to the Lord because her husband doesn’t listen to her needs or take interest in her life. She pleads with God that Jacob would bind his heart with hers, but all to no avail.

Finally, she names her fourth son Judah, which means ‘to praise’, because through her pain she has come close to God and found her life in him. She is no longer dependent on Jacob for her fulfillment, she no longer needs his approval, her life is now knit together with the Spirit of God, and finally she has found peace.

What happened when her life blossomed? At the end of his life Jacob was buried with Leah, whom he had grown to love. Leah’s life is an example that no matter what you desire, pursue it whether anyone else, sees, hears or notices your progress. Greatness awaits!

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