by Tom Jacobs
I’m always looking for peoples’ fresh ideas. Probably because I feel like I have so few of my own. This quest for freshness keeps me reading Scripture. (For instance, last month I read the book of Deuteronomy with this thought in mind: Moses wrote the entire book to prepare the nation of Israel for a new, really difficult, but very positive change. They were entering the Promised Land). I saw the book from a new, fresh perspective and it provided a great month of personal devotions.
The freshness search also draws me to blogs, tweets, posts, articles, etc. Recently, Cary VanKampen linked me with the Leadership Freak blog by Dan Rockwell. Here’s an excerpt from an interview Dan had with Soren Kaplan, author of the soon-to-be-released book, Leapfrogging:
”I asked Soren for a cure to fearful pessimism. He said, “It doesn’t matter what you do next as long as you do something and learn.” The worst thing you can do is sit and stew.”
As I consider the “Start” theme for August, Kaplan’s admonition really challenges me. Sometimes I tend to sit and stew rather than doing something and seeking to learn from it. Maybe you’re caught in a time where you feel paralyzed and don’t know what to do. Here are a few “start” suggestions:
- Write down a couple of questions about your situation, and then take the questions to the local coffee shop and consider the best answers to your questions.
- Ask God to lead you to the Scripture that speaks to your situation.
- Call a deep-thinking, spiritually mature friend to pray and discuss your situation.
- Drop what you’re doing and go serve or help someone else address their problem.
- Begin to organize the team you will need in order to accomplish the task at hand.
As Kaplan says, “It doesn’t matter what you do next as long as you do something and learn.” I would simply add, “Listen to the Holy Spirit as you do the next step and seek to learn from Him.”
by Tom Jacobs
In 1752, artist William Hogarth created an engraving titled “Egg of Columbus.” The piece depicts a story told by Girolamo Benzoni in his Historia del Mondo Nuovo. While eating a meal together, several of Columbus’ detractors began to comment that any number of other people could have found their way to the New World and that Columbus’ feat was unremarkable because of its simplicity. Columbus replied that it was only easy now that he had demonstrated how it was done, and by way of an example, he challenged anyone present to stand an egg on its end. After all those attempting the feat had admitted defeat, Columbus demonstrated the simplicity of the challenge by crushing one end of the egg. Placing the crushed end on the table, he stood the egg on its end.
This messy illustration reveals a vital truth. Many tasks or visions seem impossible if they are seen with limited perspective. Often times, we fail to think of “breaking the egg” because that approach has never been attempted.
I love the story of the four friends of the lame man, in Mark 2:2-5. The men knew that their friend would be healed if they could just get past the crowd and bring him to Jesus. They didn’t allow the crowd or the obstacles to dissuade them. They broke the egg . . . or, the roof and lowered the man into Jesus’ presence.
What project or problem are you currently facing? Let me encourage you to ask God to help you to be creative in your pursuit of His will in your situation. Ask God if there are eggs that you need to break. Is there a new way to look at the same old problems? We are surrounded by people who are far away from God. If we are going to reach people we have never reached, we may need to do things we have never done.
Let’s break the egg!