Tag Archives: Abram

No Matter How Small

Story of the Day for Monday April 23, 2012

No Matter How Small

                 Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? . . . It’s like a mustard seed which, when you plant it, is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground.”
Mark 4:30-31

In ancient times, Mesopotamia was considered the most advanced civilization on earth. What better place to be if you wanted to have a significant impact on the ancient world.

But when God called Abram, he told him to leave this advanced civilization and retreat to a lonely, desolate land where he could carve out a living as a wandering nomad. So much for significant world impact, right?

The Lord wanted to create a family that could be called “God’s children” – a family greater than the stars you can count in the night sky. And how does God bring about this staggering multitude? He tells Abram and Sarai to go and make a baby.

When your objective is to create staggering multitudes, it just seems that Abram’s contribution didn’t get things off to a rousing start. But that is how God’s kingdom works. You start with the little things – things as tiny as mustard seeds.

Common sense tells us that, if you want to be fabulously wealthy, you should sell products that yield enormous profits – like skyscrapers, or Boeing 747s, or tickets to a Packer game.

But Ray Kroc chose to make a profit of only a few pennies on his products. He started selling hamburgers in 1955 for fifteen cents. He called his restaurant: McDonald’s. Apparently, pennies do add up because Ray’s widow gave a gift from the profits of those hamburgers to the Salvation Army – a gift of 1½ BILLION dollars.

A woman once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

The “small tasks” this woman sought to accomplish were smaller than you might think. She was both blind and deaf. At the age of seven, she first learned what a “word” was. When the rest of us have reached the age when we can speak fluently, she was learning how to speak audibly. Her small task was to learn to pronounce a word that she would never be able to hear.

But, through her small tasks, Helen Keller became one of the most popular authors of her age. She was invited to the White House by every president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College (graduating cum laude). And she was awarded the country’s highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Keller summarized her life by saying, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

No matter how small.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

But, Then Again, on the Other Hand…

Story of the Day for Tuesday March 27, 2012

But, Then Again, on the Other Hand…

At dawn the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” But Lot hesitated.

Genesis 19:15-16

One of the greatest singers of all time, Luciano Pavarotti, knew what he wanted to be from a young age. He wanted to be a soccer goalie.

Luciano’s mother urged him to become a teacher instead, so he sought a degree in education. But his father, Fernando, introduced him to the joy of singing. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor, took on Luciano as a student — teaching him without pay.

Pavarotti was torn. Should he pursue a teaching career or seek to become a

professional singer? Finally, his father put it to him bluntly, “Luciano, if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.”

When Abram and Lot started running out of elbow room, they decided to part ways on friendly terms. Abram gave his nephew Lot first choice, and he chose the fertile lands to the east. Lot settled with his family in the town of Sodom.

One day, two angels warned Lot to take his family and flee from the city because God was about to destroy it. This wasn’t a great time to hesitate, but that’s exactly what Lot did.

Major decisions in life have the tendency to paralyze us. No matter what we decide we can always say, “Yes, but on the other hand . . .”  When we seek to serve the Lord with our gifts and abilities, our problem is seldom that we choose the wrong direction; it’s that we can’t decide, so we choose no direction at all.

Up on Pinkham Creek, the animal version of  Russian Roulette is to attempt to run in front of a vehicle without becoming roadkill.

The gophers gather in the ditch and one of them says, “Okay Harvey, it’s your turn.” Another gopher shouts, “Hey, I hear something coming!” The gophers keep Harvey poised until the vehicle is closing in on them and then they shout, “Go, Harv, hit it!” And Harvey barrels across the road as fast as he can scamper . . . which isn’t all that fast.

Yet, while gophers aren’t all that fast, they seldom get hit because they always race for the other ditch without hesitation.

The pine squirrels play the same game but are far faster. Yet, in the middle of the road they stop, turn around and start to run back. Hesitate. Turn around. Run the other way. Stop. Hesitate . . . Squirrels are lighting quick but often lose at Russian Roulette.

There’s a lesson here.

But, then again, do I really need to spell it out for you?

On the other hand, without an application my meaning could be misunderstood.

Nevertheless, shouldn’t I trust that you’re smart enough to figure it out for yourself?

Okay, maybe I should explain the meaning of the gopher story, but I always limit my articles to one page, so it’ll have to be brief.

Oh, for crying out loud, I just ran out of space.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)