FAITH AND REFLECTION — I recently shared a devotional entitled “Making a Difference.” I used the example of Philip in Acts 8. The presentation seemed well received . . . however, the matter of making a difference stayed with me, so I did a brief study on the topic.
To begin with, making a difference needs to be functional, but does not have to be showy or flamboyant. A bodybuilder appeared on the Merv Griffin Show. Merv asked him, “Why do you develop certain muscles?” The bodybuilder stepped forward and flexed a series of muscles and the audience applauded. Unsatisfied, Merv asked, “What do you use your muscles for?” Again, the muscular fellow stepped forward and flexed his biceps and triceps. Merv, becoming persistent, asked more emphatically, “But, what do you use your muscles for!?” The poor confused, embarrassed bodybuilder sat down in silent bewilderment; he was all about flash, not function.
Making a difference is often comprised of small, seemingly insignificant contributions. John Brodie, famous football quarterback from yesteryear, was given the task of holding the football for the kicker. A reporter asked why a million-dollar player like him should have to hold the ball for field goals. Brodie humbly replied, “If I didn’t, the ball would fall over.”
Making a difference requires that we invest time, and exhibit sincere interest in others. A man came across a young boy playing on the sidewalk. He engaged in a game of marbles with the boy and won. However, he offered to teach the young fellow how to play better and his offer was accepted. The boy became better at marbles, but he also went to church with the man and became a believer in Christ. That boy’s name was Howard Hendricks and he grew up to write books, teach at Dallas Theological Seminary and serve as chaplain to the Dallas Cowboys. He also mentored Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, Joseph Stowell and David Jeremiah; all because a man stopped to play marbles with a boy.
Finally, making a difference must come from the heart. A little boy asked a pastor if he could have the carnation from his lapel. The pastor consented, but asked the boy why he wanted it. The child explained that his mother and father had separated and neither of them wanted him. His grandparents made room for him, but grandpa had died. Grandma still looked after him and did all that she could for him, so he wanted to give her the carnation. The pastor’s heart was touched. He retrieved the carnation and provided the boy with a vase full of beautiful flowers to present to his loving grandmother.
Make a difference!
”Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden