I Don't Do Ceilings
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”1
Some time ago I read how a graduating student at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, had just received his appointment from the bishop. He was grumbling because the appointment didn't fit what he felt he deserved. Another student, in a loving but unsympathetic way patted him on the back and said, "You know the world is a better place because Michelangelo didn't say, 'I don't do ceilings.'"2
My very first job in the church started when I was barely a teenager. It was back in the day when we used hard copy printed hymn books. It was a very small church with old-fashioned pews without any racks on the back for holding hymn books. So after every church service for several years I voluntarily collected all the song books from every pew and stacked them very neatly in the hymn book cabinet.
Not that I was looking for any reward because I wasn’t, but because I was faithful in this task, by age 16 I was asked to teach a boy’s Sunday School class. Then I was asked if I would teach this same class in a second church. For three years I taught this Sunday School class in two churches—one in the morning and the other in another church in the afternoon where church was held later to suit farmer families. Even in my college days I worked part-time in a very large church in Chicago as a janitor and helped clean up that church after Sunday services—including scrubbing floors in fellowship rooms!
Over the ensuing years, while there have always been challenges, more opportunities opened up until today the ministry of ACTS via several gospel websites, Daily Encounter and Weekend Encounter is reaching many thousands of people worldwide every day of the year with the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
My point is that every Christian is called to serve God, and when we are faithful in serving God even in the smallest ways, God opens doors for wider opportunities. We do this in thanksgiving to God for all He has done for us—especially in giving His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for all our sins through His death on the cross so we could be freely forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life to live with Him forever in Heaven, and we do this for God’s glory—and never for our own.
Suggested prayer for the first thing every morning: “Dear God, I am available afresh today. Please make me usable and use me today to be an effective witness for Jesus and to be ‘as Jesus’ in some way to every life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
Imagine the impact that could be made for Christ’s Kingdom if every Daily Encounter subscriber would genuinely make this commitment—and do it year after year after year!
Remember, too, in the words of another. “Only one life ‘twill soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Note: By way of interest, I have prayed this prayer every morning since the days of my youth, and plan to do so every day for the rest of my life. I challenge and encourage you to do the same.
1. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV).
2. Homiletics Annual CD, 1999 Edition Cited on www.sermons.com