SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:1a (TM) – larger reading Romans 1:1-7
I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God's words and acts.
C. Philip Green shares this story: In one little Midwestern town, Miss Jones had the distinction of being the oldest resident in town. So when she died, the editor of the local paper wanted to print a little article remembering this dear old lady, except he couldn't think of anything to say when he sat down to write the article. Miss Jones had never done anything terribly wrong. She had never spent a night in jail or had ever been drunk. On the other hand, she had never done anything significant.
With this still on his mind, the editor went down to the local café, and there, ran into the local funeral director. He too was having the same trouble. He wanted to put something on Miss Jones' tombstone besides "Miss Nancy Jones, born such-and-such a date and died such-and-such a date," but he couldn't think of anything to write either.
The editor decided to go back to his office and assign the job of writing up a small article for both the paper and the tombstone to the first reporter he saw. When he got to the office, he ran into the sports editor, who got the assignment. So somewhere in some little community in the Midwest there is a tombstone which reads:
Here lie the bones of Nancy Jones,
For her life held no terrors.
She lived an old maid.
She died an old maid.
No hits, no runs, no errors. (C. C. Mitchell, Let's Live!)
I'm afraid to say, "That's the way many Christians live their lives." They've never done anything terribly wrong, but they never accomplish anything significant for the Lord
Paul was on assignment. You and I are on assignment. We have a daily choice to make as to how we are going to fulfill that assignment. Are we going to play it safe, i.e. “No hits, no runs, no errors,” or are we going to take a few risks and do something extravagant for the Kingdom?
Too many of us fall into a rhythm that takes us through our day, but little else. We raise our children. Work out the kinks in our marriage. Play a few games of Hand-n-Foot. Eat a meal or two. But when this life is over how will we be remembered? What could they place on our tombstone? The Rev. Green concluded his story with the idea that most of us haven’t done anything wrong, but we haven’t done anything significant for the Lord.
We can change this today. In a small way we can change the “rhythm” we have fallen into. We can become change agents for the King. The people that I remember from the span of my ministry are not the movers and shakers, but those who went about their life lifting the spirit of those around them… loving the unlovable… caring for the sick… touching the lives of children and youth… adding a smile to everyone they met…
Here’s to taking a few risks in our lives and making life around us different! After all God has given us an assignment to make a difference in our world.
Holy Father, give us your grace and mercy so that we truly will make a significance in the lives of others.