Challenges that don't measure up

If you’re looking for a challenge big enough to suit your “never say die” nature, look no farther than a neighbor down the road or a shut-in in your congregation. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.

Each year I place Christmas lights on a twenty-five foot, spruce tree in our front yard. Since the tree grows about eight inches or so a year, each year it gets harder and harder to get the lights on the entire tree. Reason might dictate that there would come a time when I will have to move to a smaller tree or, perhaps, only trim it partially; but now it has become a challenge; a challenge to get one light at the very top of the tree no matter how I have to stretch or what rung of the lad- der I might have to stand on. So, since I can’t reach the top of the tree conventionally any more, I designed a pole with a notch on the end to lift the lights to the very top of the tree. Each year as the task becomes more daunting, it seems I find it all the more motivating to see if I can do it.

Wouldn’t it be great if you and I put that much energy and commitment into the spiritual challenges God gives us?

Here’s a story from Chuck Swindoll. “Several years ago I met a gentleman who served on one of Walt Disney’s original

advisory boards. What amazing stories he told! Those early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary

refused to give up. I especially appreciated the man’s sharing with me how Walt Disney responded to disagreement. He

said that Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without

exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of

such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn’t pursue it. The challenge wasn’t big

enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement!” (Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107.)

If you’re looking for a challenge big enough to suit your “never say die” nature, you probably need look no farther than a neighbor down the road or a shut-in in your congregation. People in need are all around us and the challenge is great. God is asking a total commitment from you and I as His Christian soldiers. He wants more than a mere offering in an offering plate on Sunday. That anyone can do. When you come right down to it, He doesn’t need your money. He does want your service, your willingness to sacrifice and your commitment to spending your time in serving others. No, He wants you and I to do what might seem impossible to the unbeliever in this world. Take care of our brother’s needs even before we think of ourselves. The task may be daunting at times; but, with Jesus, the one who can and has done the impossible, as our guide, who knows what we may be capable of?

We pray. Heavenly Father, As we look toward the end of another year and a Christmas holiday passing, we think of the challenges that presented themselves over the year and how we met these, sometimes bravely and others not so. Teach us Lord to meet the challenges of living our faith with a courage and commitment always a step above whatever we are able to muster over the everyday challenges of life. We know that you need us; that mean not just what we have but, even more importantly, who we are. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)

Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at or on i-Tunes. May this PASSING day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else’s.

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