It’s a Building Block for Greatness Not an Obstacle to Overcome
Earlier this month was April Fool’s Day, and there have been some pretty elaborate pranks pulled over the years. Like the big spaghetti harvest of 1957, or the flying penguins in 2008, or the baseball pitcher in 1995 that could throw a 168-mph fastball.
Some of us are more gullible than others. We can be too trusting and be taken advantage of by others. Some are more skeptical and untrusting, believing that everyone is out to get them. Both of these come from a combination of who we are naturally and from experiences.
Somewhere in the middle is the balance where we should be.
April Fool’s Day reminds me of a story that my brother once told me. He was taking classes at the community college in the neighboring town. He had gone shopping and his way back home stopped at McDonalds to have lunch with some of his friends from school.
Of course, he had to take his bag full of shopping treasures in to show off to the guys he was meeting.
As they were finishing their lunch, he saw somebody out in the parking lot that was leaving, who he needed to talk to So, he jumped up and ran out to catch them.
While he was still out in the parking lot, his buddies came outside and were leaving. They all said goodbye and went their separate ways.
On his way home he realized he had left his bag in the booth at McDonalds. So, he turned around and went back. When he got there someone was sitting where he had been, and they had his bag. He asked them for it, but they said it was theirs.
Then I asked my brother, “What was in the bag?”
Crap…like I’m feeding you.
A story that could turn believers into doubters.
Maybe Doubting Thomas, John 20:19-31, was told stories like the one my brother told. Because we know that if he couldn’t see and touch Jesus’s wounds, he wasn’t going to believe. He thought his friends were feeding him a bunch of “crap”.
It’s not like the other disciples hadn’t seen the wounds before they told Thomas. It’s not that Thomas didn’t believe after he saw. Thomas was having trouble wrapping his head around Jesus really being alive.
A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”
Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”
Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”
We haven’t been able to see and touch those wounds or witness Jesus being killed and coming back to life. This is where we are called to faith.
Struggling with and overcoming things makes us stronger on the other side.
Seeing our doubts disproved makes us stronger.
Another story that is hard to believe is about giraffe mothers kicking their newborn babies. This has got to be a joke, right! Why would they do that?
As if the eight-foot fall of a baby giraffe’s birth isn’t traumatic enough, as the baby lays there, the mother kicks it, sending it flying. This process continues again and again. Then after a few more times, the mother is happy to see the baby standing and goes over to it and…gives it yet another kick.
This time the young giraffe gets up quickly. Mama Giraffe is delighted.
Why would a mother giraffe do this? She knows that lions and leopards love giraffe meat. So, unless the baby giraffe learns quickly to get up and stay up with the pack…its chance of survival is slim.
It’s up to us to get back up each and every time we’re knocked down.
The prodigal son thought he had it all figured out. He got his inheritance early and went out and blew it. After finding himself in a place he hadn’t expected, he decided to go back and ask for forgiveness rather than continuing to wallow with pigs.
Whether we don’t do something because of doubt…or we do something, and it ends up being the wrong decision, we need to remember…
As long as we are still breathing, it’s not too late.
In either case we will be stronger and smarter afterward.
Don’t let your doubts or fears hold you back from the great things you’ve been put here to accomplish.