Story of the Day for Friday November 4, 2011
And from the first one to the last, they all made excuses.
Life was good. Our daughter, Erika, had just gotten married, hunting season was starting in two weeks, and I finally had some time to finish cutting firewood for the winter.
Then my friend, Warren Ellis, ruined it all.
Warren gave a presentation to our congregation about volunteering to help the flood victims in Minot, North Dakota. I think appeals to help people in need are wonderful – and I always hope that others will volunteer to help out.
But, afterward, Warren didn’t ask how many other people had signed up to go; he asked me if I had signed up. When I balked and explained my complicated schedule, he offered no sympathy. “Pray about it,” is all he said.
I didn’t really pray about it much, because I knew I’d end up going, but I just wished there was someone who would listen empathetically to my excuses for not going.
Warren had plenty of excuses for not going to Minot, but he never invoked them. He has bad knees and a sore back. Nevertheless, he continues to squander his vacation days to volunteer his time to help the flood victims. He makes presentations to churches about the desperate need in Minot, but he told me privately that he is scared to death to speak in public. Yet, week after week he battles his anxiety, and, with his pulse racing wildly, he stands up in front of people to urge others to join him in helping out the flood victims.
When we arrived in Minot I was disappointed to learn that almost everyone had better excuses than me for not being there. But there they were.
The one volunteer who captured my attention was Ashley, a young woman in her mid-twenties who came from over 900 miles to help out. Ashley was a spunky one. Mucking out flooded basements is a messy job, but she didn’t shy away from any task, no matter how unpleasant. She worked hard – without whining. Without excuses.
You should also know that Ashley was a paraplegic. A spinal injury two years ago has left her paralyzed in a wheel chair. But she has regained enough use of her arms to outwork anyone around her.
Jesus told a story comparing the kingdom of God to a wedding banquet. His point was that those who turn down God’s invitation to join the party don’t do so because they have good reasons; they only have good excuses.
I’m learning that, if you’re heart isn’t into sharing the love of Jesus, you can always find a good excuse for not doing it. Those who are passionate about caring ignore excuses. They just do it.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)