Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)
TITLE: Measuring The Cracks
By Lillian Rhoades
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Chief among the tools we regularly pull from life’s tool kit is the yardstick of personal opinion. We use it to measure anything that crosses our path, from people to the latest headlines. Unfortunately, when placed beside God’s yardstick, it comes up short by more than a few inches.
I was never more aware of how short my yardstick was than after I watched snippets of a movie about the life of Nick Vujici, world renowned motivational speaker, author of No Arms, No Legs, No Worries, and founder of an organization called Attitude is Altitude.
Had Nick’s fate been left to some, including me, he might be languishing today in a physically handicapped facility, whiling away the day with trivial pursuits. In my court of personal opinion, the verdict might have been a lifetime sentence to monotonous mediocrity, at best. For a brief time, I forgot that The Potter never leaves a "marred" vessel to sit on the shelf, lovelorn and useless forever.
Nick’s life shone through the darkness of my obscure opinion, and helped me redefine, through the prism of God’s intentions, how I should measure the value of a person. How grateful I am that God uses a different measuring rod, and since His love is measureless, He’ll never destine anyone to a life of insignificance or nothingness.
Undoubtedly, few of us can lay claim to any asset that puts us a cut above anyone else. Yet, we all have a propensity to examine the exterior before evaluating the interior. Yes, we do judge a book by its cover, and we categorize people by their exceptional looks, clothes, or worldly possessions; and that’s a short list. How many times have I heard a TV commentator mention how difficult it is to run for the highest office in the land if the candidate lacks a certain look, or is a little light on charisma. His assessment underscores conventional thinking that to capture center stage, or merit attention, someone or something must possess external, stellar qualities.
Most of the time, our focus on the superficial determines how we view a person or situation. This should set off a danger signal. If we do not filter that mindset through the lens of God’s purpose, we miss His mark and fail to see what God wants to do with ordinary people. We must not hesitate to embrace the idea that no matter what it is, God will never give anyone anything that will cause them to be less than what He wants them to be.
In Nick’s case, He assigned him to live a life without arms or legs. He has a different assignment for us, and we should never feel diminished by it no matter how difficult the challenge before us. Nick proves that our limited resources will not determine our usefulness or our worth. It’s what God does with what we give back to Him that really matters. We learn from Nick, and others like him, that a hymn is no less a song because it has a different title. A car is no less a car because it’s either red or blue, or lacks a radio.
Someone once said, “God uses us, warts and all.” Even when our faults or differences stand out, God has a way of making them outstandingly useful. Nick puts it this way. “God does not seek our capabilities to serve Him, He seeks our availability.”
“Here I am, Lord,” is the only benchmark that leads to “the plans He has for us.”
From a life that went from contemplating suicide at eight years old to the fourth most sought after motivational speaker in the country, Nick’s life stands as a gentle rebuke to those whose yardsticks are too short.
I want to check my opinion of others by God’s yardstick. What about you? By His calculations, we’re all extraordinary, wonderfully made, and exceptionally outstanding. Psalms 139:14 confirms it.
The little crack in my window
Was all that I could see
Until it allowed an extra ray of sunshine
To create a rainbow for me
That little crack in my window
Can always be repaired
But I’m not sure I want to now
I prefer the rainbow instead
You may have cracks, some in, some out
Without a remedy
But He who sends the sunshine
Knows how to send light through the cracks
And make a rainbow for Thee
Additional information about Nick Vujici is available by doing a Google Search
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