An advertising company somewhere in America no doubt virtually made a mint off the Nike promotion, “Just do it!” It has just the right note of exasperation. You can almost hear that the time for excuses is past, the time for action has come.
In my lifetime, I’ve heard a lot of excuses for not getting involved in Kingdom enterprise. This is not a problem unique to this day in which we live. When God called Moses, Moses answered with a list of excuses why he shouldn’t even be the one asked to do what the Lord was calling him to do. Too often our supposed inabilities, our lack of training, and untested inexperience leaves us on the sidelines observing instead of on the field playing ball. What we fail to take into consideration is the ability of God to take whatever we offer Him and use it mightily to accomplish His purpose.
The little boy with the sack lunch could have decided himself that there was no way two loaves and five fishes would even make a dent in the hunger of the crowd that day. He could have hidden his lunch pail. He could have refused when invited to share. Instead, little became much in the hands of the Master!
D.L. Moody told the story of a passenger on an Atlantic steamer. The gentleman was overcome with a severe case of seasickness while a storm raged outside. In the midnight hours, he heard the cry, “Man overboard!”
“May God help that poor fellow,” he prayed, “but there’s nothing I can do.”
Though restless and weary with his sickness, he had a thought. “I can at least put my lantern in my small window,” and with no small effort he did so. Fighting his own nausea, dizziness, and weakness he lifted the lighted lantern to the small porthole window’s hook and made his way back to his bed, exhausted by the effort.
The man who was drowning was finally rescued. In recounting the story the next day, he said, “I was going down in the darkness for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. It shone on my hand, and a sailor in the lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in.”
Even if you are too weak to rescue the drowning man, remember it may just be that a light in your window that will light someone else’s way. If you think you are incapable of something, you are probably right, especially if you refuse to allow God to enable you. However, if you simply release your faith and believe that if He calls you, He will equip you – who knows how God will use you? I can promise you one thing: If you are willing, He is able!
Often, if our excuses are not about ourselves, they are about others. Pastors often hear, “Pastor, I’d teach a Sunday School class but kids today don’t have any respect for their elders and I’m not going to waste my time.” Or, “I’d work on a ladies team, but you know, Sister Sue doesn’t like me….”
“Anyway” – a bit of homespun sort of philosophy appeared in Reader’s Digest in 1982. It is said to have been found written on the wall of the orphanage founded by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, and/or also on the wall of her own room. It was actually written by a young man named Kent Keith in 1968 as a part of a leadership book for student leaders. These “paradoxical commandments” as they have been labeled, are noteworthy:
“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people
with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for some underdogs anyway.
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”
Remember the words of the old song:
“Little is much when God is in it.
Labor not for wealth and fame.
There’s a crown and you can win it
If you go in Jesus name.”
One of the verses of that song says,
“Does the place you’re called to labor,
seem so small and little known.
It is great if God is in it and
He’ll not forsake His own.”
Whatever He calls you to do, just do it…He’ll do the rest.