One in a hundred

By Steve Wickham

Every now and then I’ve come across someone who is in a deep hole, but they’re determined to build some stairs and fight their way out of it. This kind of person is determined to make something of the crisis they’re in. They refuse to be defined by it. They insist they’ll be defined by their response. I love working with such people. And I’ve had the honor of mentoring and pastorally caring for a few of them.

And every time, without exception, I’ve seen their lives resurrected and restored.

I call them 1-in-100 people. They do the one-percenters. They are the one-percenters! They are one-percenters, because they do the one-percenters. They’re one-in-a-hundred.

The 99 percent on the other hand may blame circumstances on others or God or on the ‘fate’ against them. And many do have a case. It is unjust. But staying camped in the land of complaint doesn’t get them anywhere except deeper into bitterness and resentment. If anything, here there is a resistance to taking control of the only control we have – to respond well. We’re all tempted to find an excuse, and that is why the 99 outnumber the one like they do. It’s the common response.

Yet, they do themselves and others they love and care about a great disservice. They do not become all of what they could become. They do not convert their adversity into their advocate, and instead make it their adversary.

The one, on the other hand, converts their adversity into their advocate.

Those who are in the one-in-a-hundred set are a pleasure to their Maker. He sets off in search of them, leaving the 99 in safe pasture – which is shorthand for comfort against change. It’s where we spend the vast majority of most our lives. Anyone who has been in the 1-in-100 will know the nature of the pursuit of God. God pursues the one, and in that they can feel His uniqueness as His mark on them.

The one-in-a-hundred make it their conquest to learn something vitalizing in their grief.

They insist there has to be a reason and a purpose for why this thing happened. They don’t settle for discouragement and despair.

They give way to their weakness, because they know their strength – the way it was – has gone. They’re honest. They’re so determined in their honesty that they make it their purpose and passion to recover. Their recovery becomes them.

For counselors, pastors and chaplains, and other mentoring helpers, it is crucial to call those who come to us desperate and destitute of spirit to the one-in-one-hundred set. We suggest it’s their call; that God has bigger things planned for their individual life. We don’t have to roll out the cliché – God has a plan for this in your life…

We call them to persevere, even as we journey with them.

If you know a one-in-one-hundred kind of person, tag them in this post or share it with them. Affirm them for responding in ways that are sharply contrastive of typical society.

Perhaps that person is deep amid their trial and need to be reminded that God loves them and there is recovery and big plan ahead for them. That they need to be encouraged to hold on.

Maybe they need to be reminded just how rare they are in their response.

By Steve Wickham