When I was a young man, preparing for ministry there was a popular saying, quoted to young men, that I still remember. “God can’t steer a parked car!” Not sure that checks out biblically, but it certainly lines up with what we know of the apostles. With that in mind I thought I would write a blog about getting moving as covid wanes (Gospel, discipleship, acts of love), but these two clips from my sermon file, under the heading of “action,” preach better than I could!
Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky — smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
“Where you scared?” “Yes.”
“Would you do it again?” “No.”
“Why did you do it?” “Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 35.
Dr. J.B. Gambrel tells an amusing story from General Stonewall Jackson’s famous valley campaign. Jackson’s army found itself on one side of a river when it needed to be on the other side. After telling his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross, he called his wagon master in to tell him that it was urgent the wagon train cross the river as soon as possible. The wagon master started gathering all the logs, rocks and fence rails he could find and built a bridge. Long before day light General Jackson was told by his wagon master all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river. General Jackson asked where are the engineers and what are they doing? The wagon master’s only reply was that they were in their tent drawing up plans for a bridge.Pulpit Helps, May, 1991.
I hope these encouraged us to keep being intentional about the Great Commandment and the Great Commission; and if not I hope it provoked us!
Yours, because I’m His,