There is yet another great principle I’ve learned from the story of Noah’s Ark. It’s pretty simple but a hard one to keep in perspective. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals. This is a principle that is quickly becoming lost in the “professionalism” of America. It’s becoming a mindset that “You don’t have what it takes to do something really well, so don’t even try. Just leave it to the professionals.”
However, history actually shows us the opposite. It’s more-often the average Joe that makes a difference and gets a very challenging job done, despite NOT being the expert. One of the greatest churches in the New Testament was started by lay people, the church of Antioch. People who didn’t know what they were doing. They just had a mandate from God to do something so they did it. What a great life lesson, to not be intimidated because you haven’t done something yet. To this day, I am amazed by all that my kids are able to do… things that FAR exceed anything I can do. I certainly didn’t teach them the skills. But perhaps they picked up a “can do” attitude from my wife and me.
Some of the greatest stories of life are written by people who weren’t intimidated by the big professionals.
There have been countless stories told referring to the exploits of King David. The biggest, of course, is his life and death encounter with a slingshot and the giant while he was still a kid. I won’t unpack the story here, but I will refer to David’s attitude that put him squarely in the middle of history fighting a giant who was far bigger, far more experienced, and far more favored to win the battle. Facing him without the verbal encouragement of his peers. He was pretty much all by his lonesome self in the valley of Elah.
Allow me to remind you of his conversation with King Saul who is trying to convince David that he was up to the task, even though he wasn’t a professional soldier. In reality, David himself was a kid…who looked after a flock of sheep. Talk about ill-equipped! In I Samuel 17:36-45, David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” Oh, to have the faith of David more often in my own life!
William Carey was an English Baptist missionary and known as the “father of modern missions”. He said, “Expect great things FROM God; attempt great things FOR God.” It was that “can do” attitude and complete faith and dependence on God that motivated him to make a spiritual and cultural difference in Calcutta, India. He wasn’t necessarily the most educated or well-spoken messenger. But he was faithful and relied on his all-knowing creator.
So think about those around you who have accomplished the greatest or impacted the most? How about you or me? Are we going to leave things to the professionals, or are we going to adopt the “can do” attitude that can change the world, knowing that the God of the universe is on our side?