By Larry Ray Hafley
We look at the heroic deeds and epic accomplishments of God’s great and grand men of the past. We are thrilled and enthralled when we recall the mighty and majestic efforts of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Jonah – you finish your- own list of the names of the men of faith and courage who inspire you. Now, your mind is racing and picturing Paul and others in moments that grace the pages of sacred history. Are you not made to feel that you, too, could be one of those who could and would succeed in the work of the Lord during a fateful and historic time? Surely, you are!
Accordingly, we watch the sports heroes of the day as the news brings us word of their latest achievements. We bask in the glimmer of memories of men who were dead before many of us were born. We love to hear the stories of their finest hours. We can hear the crack of Babe Ruth’s bat. We can see Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig, or Willie Mays, Stan Musial, and Hank Aaron! And what do we see? Why, we see their supreme efforts, their brilliance which will always illuminate the world of sports. Again, make your own list in your own favorite areas. Exciting, is it not?
But, now, come down to earth, to reality, to the often baneful, painful grind of day-to-day living. Yes, Noah built his ark and David met his Goliath, but these were moments out of a lifetime. So often we sit and dream of the “big event.” We will go to Nineveh! We will hit the big time by toppling the Goliath of our day and time, but we will not be bothered with the simple, mundane affairs of life. That is where we miss it. You see, David would never have approached Goliath had he not met the lion and the bear out there alone in the wilderness. Noah would never have built the ark had he not taken time to raise a devout family and live a godly life from day to day. While you rave about one of your sports heroes, he is presently sweating, forcing his mind and body to practice one more hour, to run one more mile. This fall and winter you will see him blaze into glory and the hall of fame, but his blaze would be a mere flicker if he were not suffering somewhere right now.
And that, my friend, is probably why many of us will never be sent to Nineveh. We are not teaching our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers. So, who are we to invade the citadels of error? We are not bravely challenging the lion and the bear in local situations; so, who are we to rise up against the incredible hulk, Goliath? We are not taking the time to raise our own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; so, who are we to think that we should take charge of the construction of an ark? All these ancient worthies had to pay their dues in sacrifice. They paid the price. Remember, too, that when the big moment came, it was not seen as “my big chance” to “make good.” It was simply another confrontation. It became the “great event” after the fact. Surely, David had no idea, when as a ruddy, young lad he determined to defeat the “uncircumcised Philistine,” that his story would be told countless millions of times to thrill the hearts of all who hear it. That never entered his mind. He simply did what he felt he had to do at the time.
We will do as well; we will accomplish as much; we will be as great if we simply take up our cross daily and follow, Him. It is a; simple business of day-to-day living. Those who do it daily are the famous ones of tomorrow and the residents of heaven.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 15, p. 242
April 12, 1979