Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Last Straw

"When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.” – 1 Chronicles 17: 11-12

Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 16-18; John 7:28-53

When I was in college I had these delusions of grandeur about saving the world. I stayed up countless, sleepless nights wondering what it was that I was going to do to make this huge change that I thought needed to be made.

Of course I still have huge visions… I’ll never grow out of that… sorry Dad!

But one thing that my Dad did teach me was that we are all part of a bigger process.

One day we were talking about life and making a change and he said something like this: “It’s not your job to change the world, God does that. But it’s your job to do your part.”

This is extremely unsatisfying… but I am starting to get the larger point.

I wrote a piece a little while back referencing Martin Luther King’s last speech. In it he invokes the imagery of Moses and talks about how he has been to the mountain top. He has seen the Promised Land and even if he does not get there with us, he knows that we will get there.

He got shot the next day.

At first I used to get really sad thinking about this clip. How could someone speak about their own future with such clairvoyance? It always seemed so eerie to me.

But now I’m starting to see the other side of that coin. He was a man who did the best that he could with the resources that he had at his disposal. Did he succeed in realizing all of the change that he envisioned before he died? No.


Did he fight the good fight hand have a substantive enough impact to be able to see the fruits of his labor?


The work wasn’t about him. It was for people that he would never see, people like you and me who may or may not have been born yet.

He was also helped by countless other folk. He didn’t do the work alone.

When we strive to do good for those around us it may be disheartening when we do not see an immediate result. And that’s ok. It’s natural to want to reap an immediate harvest from the seeds that we plant.

But if we remember that it takes a thousands straws to break a camels back it is easier to chill and relax and enjoy being part of the process of those fighting the good fight. Whether we are the first or the last, all thousand of those straws are necessary and important.

Even if history doesn’t remember all of their names…

Question of the Day: Who are the unsung heroes of your life? What did they do for you? How did they make a difference?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Man of God, this passage reflects true leadership. The key to true leadership is building people to succeed beyond what you’ve accomplished. It's extremely imperative to pour ourselves into someone else. Whether they acknowledge it, or even value what we've truly given them is not important.

    God is the one who rewards us, not those individuals who we give ourselves to. Looking for people to validate and reward you is a waste of time.

    I can tell you first hand from being in ministry, people do not always appreciate what you do. However, I know as long as I continue to give myself freely, God is the one who restores and blesses...and always more than I can ask or think.

    It is better to give than’s true.

    I have a question for you. Do you know the name of the person who led Billy Graham to the Lord?

    My point is, the work “she” performed brought forth a multitude of souls being saved. Most people have never heard of her. However, the jewels in her crown are no less abundant than those which are set in the crown of Billy Graham.



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