I used like the Star-fish story, you probably know the one? It is of a man seeing another man on beach which is covered in starfish drying out and dying in the heat of the sun. The man is throwing starfish into the sea. The other man laughs at this fellow, and says to him “there are thousands of star fish you can’t make difference to them all!” To which the guy replied by picking up another starfish and threw it into the sea saying “well, it made a difference to that one!”
It is good to be reminded that everyday acts of kindness can be life-transforming-blessing to other people, that the way we live our lives does speaks volumes and our words can hold life/hope/salvation.
I think we often don’t realize the impact that we can make on the people we meet or the surrounding we are in.
I have often quoted verses like “do not despise the day of small things”.
True to that what we think of as “small things” can actually not be small at all, but just under-valued by our society such as bringing up children, caring for elderly relatives or whatever.
Yet, the reason I have come not to like the story of the star fish is it lacks vision or aspiration, it is a message of “do what you can, with what you have” -which isn’t a bad message, but it isn’t full message, surely as Christians following the creator of the universe (we are filled with ‘he that is within us is greater than he that is in the world’ -the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead) we should be boldness and audacity in our visions and dreams.
Too often as Christians our vision is too small, why? because our vision of God and his power is too small.
Sadly I know too many ambitious clergy, but too few who are ambitious for the Kingdom of God.
If we do what we can reasonably achieve with the resources we have, where is faith in that? This isn’t walking by faith and not by sight. I believe that following Jesus is a white-knuckle-ride of faith. John Ortburg wrote “If you want to walk on water you have got to get out of the boat” -yet unfortunately this pre-supposes that Christians actually want to get out of the boat!
We have become too comfortable with bland, safe, comfortable consumer religion that might wear the clothes of the culture of Christendom but has nothing to do with life lived following Jesus Christ.
We are told that ‘God is able to do more than we ask or imagine’ and yet we live like God lacking in power and might, let’s seek to embody this truth living out our lives for Christ boldly and bravely.
Churches too often our risk adverse, stingy and frightened, and yet we have a risk-taking God generous and bountiful, the God who gives courage.
A friend once talked of the faith he wanted to see birthed within the Christians he journeyed with that made people “gulp rather than yawn!”
Let’s not be victims of events, let’s not just do the best we can with what we have (what a poverty mindset!) but let’s say to God as Caleb did “give us this mountain”.
Let’s pray that God open’s our eyes, our ears, our hearts afresh to his Spirit and seek to step out into our unknown future with our known God, seeing to see the world not with our limited, fearful and timid visions rather pray that God births in our hearts his bold, brave and audacious vision. A vision we cannot fulfil in our own strength, with our own resources, but rather in that position of weakness, desperation and vulnerability where God delights in ‘showing up’ and doing what we could have done without him.
Too often we operate in our own strength, looking through our own eyes, forgetting that we can have the mind of Christ and the resources of heaven at our disposal.
So, let’s leave behind a playing safe Christianity and embrace New Testament Christianity that changes and can and does transform the world.