Two Things That Stand in Our Way
Even if the lure of comfort wasn’t an issue, the truth is that many of us become either intimidated… or just tired.
In an episode of Netflix’s show The Crown, an aged Winston Churchill — facing the decline of a once-glorious career — has an intriguing interaction with a young member of his staff. Venetia, his secretary, has been reading Winston’s autobiography. Filled with hopeful energy, she quotes Churchill’s passionate words back to him:
“Hear this, young men and women everywhere, and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind, but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change. For this is your time.”
But Winston is so removed from the passion of his youth that he can’t bear to hear anymore. After asking her to stop, the scene closes with this startling contrast:
Young Venetia is inspired with passion and perspective … but feels unable to make a difference.
Churchill knows he is able to make a difference … but has lost his passion and perspective.
Reading about great servants of God can sometimes bring a rude awakening, either to your dullness or your smallness. You might feel like Venetia, looking in awe at someone else’s testimony but feeling insignificant yourself. Or you might feel like old Churchill, faced with the ghosts of your once-vibrant passion and perspective.
Yet if there’s one thing Billy Graham’s life shows us, it’s that there’s only one who can give us perspective and significance: Jesus. And he’s also the only One who can both pass the mantle to us... and keep it firmly on our shoulders.
Billy Graham lived life with his eyes set on heaven, with a simple but deep love for his Savior driving every step. His “greatness” wasn’t determined by his sphere of influence, his gifting, or his following. It was determined by the One he stood with.
And the same Lord who stood with Billy Graham stands with you and me.
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