The wedding is happening. Wine is being drunk; food being eaten. The guests are having the time of their lives and the wedding couple are in a state of near perfect joy. Somewhere near the center of the room, a woman sits quietly watching the night unfold. She observes everything. She talks, she laughs—but in her eyes is a quiet intensity that is unrivaled in the large assembly of wedding guests. It is near the apex of the festivities when this watchful lady notices something dreadfully wrong: the wine has run out. She has seen the servants bustling around nervously and whispering frantically to the hosts. She notices the parents of the bride wondering what to do next.
It is in this moment that she turns to a man sitting next to her and speaks in a calm yet demanding tone: “They have no wine.” The young man knows this, and with a look that speaks a thousands years of meaning He replies, “Woman, what is that to you and to me? My time has not yet come.” Gazing at one another for a few silent moments with a focus both of affection and unbridled resolve, the woman turns and calls to the worried servants, and says, “Do what this man tells you.”
Minutes later, word spreads: a great man is among them.
We know this woman. This is the mother of Christ. We know the story of the miraculous wine at Cana. But what is really happening in this encounter? Let’s break it down to understand the depth of these powerful figures and their actions: The Blessed Mother sees that there is no wine and tells her Son. But don’t forget who this Man is—He is the perfect Man. If she notices that there is no wine, then Jesus certainly knows this as well. So this is not a notice from Mary to Christ. This is a challenge...
“They have no wine.”
“I know they have no wine. But now is not yet My time. If I do this miracle, then My public life begins. And so does My mission. I do this miracle, and you begin the road with Me towards the ultimate suffering.”
She looks into his eyes, and without saying a physical word, her eyes speak to him:
“Why have you come? Why are we here? To alleviate the suffering of mankind, to win the ultimate battle. If that is our mission, then what are we waiting for? What are You waiting for? Are we doing this, or are we not?”
Challenge given. Challenge accepted.
Is this to say that Christ was wavering or that He did not want to start His Messianic mission? No, not at all. It is simply an example of two souls determined and willing to push one another beyond all human limits of self-sacrifice and heroism.
This woman is not here to sit on the sidelines and watch. She is a winner. She understands why she is there. She sees what she must do to accomplish her purpose, and she does it. From the very moment of understanding who she was, she has challenged herself at every moment. No human being has held themselves to higher a standard than this woman. And no human being has succeeded with such intensity and insatiable resolve. This is a woman that accepts only one thing—winning.
Every moment for her is a challenge. A situation that is either lost or won. She understands what the stakes are, she knows the risks, and she fights with every fiber of her being to bring about the one result that she seeks: to win.
And what does this winning consist in? Is it simply a trophy from her admiring peers or accolades from the thunderous crowds? No. It is a matter of the spirit. Winning and losing takes place in the heart and in the mind. Regardless of the human outcome, winning is when you give every last drop of yourself to achieve what you must in that moment. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Think of today. Have you given yourself without restraint to every moment, whether that be on a basketball court, or in a business meeting, or in a quiet church pew? Whether it be on a treadmill, or waking up your children for school, or cleaning a kitchen? If you have, then you are a winner. If not, then you are a loser. It’s as simple as that. Too often we sit there and justify our lack of effort. We stand on the sidelines and come up with every excuse in the book in order to make ourselves feel better. But it’s just an illusion. Winners and losers are all this world has, and every moment we make a conscious decision to be in one of those groups. Stop being soft with yourself. When you lack the effort or the focus, look yourself in the eye and admit it: “I lost that battle. But now I know what I have to do to win the next one. And I will win the next one.”
If our mindset from the start is to have laser focus in everything that we do, and if we follow that mindset with a heart and a will that never lets up for even a moment, then the human accomplishments will certainly follow. But that is not why we do the things we do. We do it for the struggle. We do it for the standard we hold ourselves to. We do it for the challenge.
Every day should be a challenge. Write down what you will attack each and every day. Go and win those battles. At the end of each day, see where you won, and see where you lost. Figure out how you can extend your winning and annihilate your losing. It’s not overthinking...that’s what a loser would say. It’s just being prepared and driven to win. Do this everyday and watch your win counts go up, and your losses diminish.
Wake up and think only one thing: “Today I win. No matter the cost.” This is not about feeling good. This is about winning. It will be painful. It will demand of you everything. But you’re not here to just enjoy yourself. You are here to win. And winning is the toughest thing that exists. So deal with it.
“They have no wine.”
This warrior of a woman stares us in the face with eyes of fire and will of steel at every moment and says these words. She does not ask. She does not politely inquire or remind us. She tells us:
“You. Yes, you. Look in front of you this very moment. There is a job to do, a moment to conquer and an obstacle to overcome. Now go and win it.”
Challenge given. Challenge accepted.