Friday, October 19, 2012

Discovering the donkey within ourselves (Matthew 21:2) with a Winston Churchill story from World War II.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:2 (TM)
(Jesus said): "Go over to the village across from you. You'll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me.

STORY: as told by Don McCullough
During World War II, England needed to increase its production of coal. Winston Churchill called together labor leaders to enlist their support. At the end of his presentation he asked them to picture in their minds a parade which he knew would be held in Picadilly Circus after the war.
First, he said, would come the sailors who had kept the vital sea lanes open. Then would come the soldiers who had come home from Dunkirk and then gone on to defeat Rommel in Africa. Then would come the pilots who had driven the Luftwaffe from the sky.
Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in miner's caps. Someone would cry from the crowd, 'And where were you during the critical days of our struggle?' And from ten thousand throats would come the answer, 'We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.'"
Not all the jobs in a church are prominent and glamorous. But it is often the people with their "faces to the coal" who help the church accomplish its mission.
As the hymn by Mrs. Charles Barnard states:
Give of your best to the Master; Give Him first place in your heart;
Give Him first place in your service, Consecrate ev’ry part.
Give, and to you shall be given; God His beloved Son gave;
Gratefully seeking to serve Him, Give Him the best that you have,…

Or as Max Lucado states in “And the Angels Were Silent”:
“All of us have a donkey. You and I each have something in our lives, which, if given back to God, could, like the donkey, move Jesus and his story further down the road. Maybe you can sing or hug or program a computer or speak Swahili or write a check. Whichever, that’s your donkey. Whichever, your donkey belongs to him.”

Discovering the “donkey” in ourselves is the challenge and then taking the next step to offer it to Christ is the challenge. It is like putting our “faces to the coal” – it might not glamorous. It might not bring honor or praise. It might not even be recognized. But it is something that the Kingdom of God needs to further the story.

No one can answer this for anyone else. We each need to make the discovery of what we can give to the Master … and then decide, is it our best?

Do not permit us to rest until we have given you our best … the donkey within.

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