Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Admiring Commitment

The carnival winner is announced at the end of this post. Thanks to everyone who participated, and to everyone who took the time to read the devotions.

Some of you had the same reaction I did to writing on the topic of Pleasing God ... oh, that should be easy! The Bible is full of teaching about what pleases God ... let's see.... hum, what should I write about? Oh my, trying to boil this down to a devotion or a singular focus is harder than I expected. So I really enjoyed seeing what each of you did with that topic.

Lately I've been appreciating people who display a single-minded focus on the thing they care about. Last year I became engrossed in the show Whale Wars. I should preface that by saying while I do care deeply about the environment ... I recycle every week, have reusable grocery bags, avoid stepping on ants, and look for various ways to go green ... no one would ever label me radical about it. And frankly, groups of people who were radical about it made me a little uncomfortable. Then I went on vacation and wound up watching a Whale Wars marathon ...   

If you don't know, the show follows an international group of animal rights activists intent on saving the whales from a Japanese fleet of ships out to harpoon the them and drag them onboard. The Japanese claim it is for research purposes. The environmental group believes it is for profitable sales of the meat and blubber - and violates an international law against it. Both sides get pretty daring in their efforts to deter each other. It’s a David and Goliath story of sorts. And it's surprisingly compelling TV.

It took me a while to figure out why I find the show so compelling. Was it because it takes place on the frigid seas of Antarctica, and being a beach girl, I can't fathom people willingly going there for weeks or months at a time? Was it because no matter how dangerous the situation gets, these people remain totally calm - this beach girl would be wigging out half the time, such as the time they got a hole in their hull, and the time they got stuck in the ice, and when they were being pelted by brass bolts and water cannons. Or was it because I care more about whaling injustice than I thought I did?

It’s all those things to a degree. But I realized that mostly, I just admire their total commitment to their cause. Their willingness to sacrifice for it. And their desire to do good (caveat here - I'm not so sure their means are always justified). And I started to wonder how my life would look if I were that committed to the cause of Christ. To building His kingdom, or to stopping the things that break His heart.

This week I read this article about a 22 year-old woman who did something amazing to raise money for clean drinking water for the 1 billon people on our planet who don't have it. She rowed solo all the way across the Atlantic ocean. And I found myself again asking what that level of dedication and commitment might look like in my own life.  I'm not sure of the answer yet, but I'm sure it would please God for me to try and find out.

I don't think everyone has to spend 2 months at sea to leave a Christ-like mark on the world. My great-aunt left such a mark, and she never left the town she was raised in.  She never even learned to drive a car, much less pilot a boat.  But that woman was living, breathing, walking love.  And she impacted me greatly for Christ. Her single-minded commitment was to love and serve as Christ loved and served. And I'm certain that pleased God. Do you know someone like this, highly dedicated? Is it you?

The random integer generator picked comment #14, Mel C, to recieve the Starbucks gift card. Congrats!

Here are your random numbers:  14 Timestamp: 2010-03-16 13:41:07 UTC

Thankful for people who go the extra mile.


  1. Awesome!!! Thanks!!

    Writing something about pleasing God was harder than I thought it would be... and it's something that should come so natural. Thanks for the eye opener!

  2. Mel C, email me at rachel@proverbs31(dot)org and send me your address so I can send your giftcard to you.

    Congrats ~ Rachel

  3. Congratulations Mel! Now I must go over and read your post.

  4. That makes me wonder about my commitment to Christ as well. How far will I go to advance God's Kingdom, the reason I'm here really anyway. Very deep... Congratulations to Mel :)

  5. Christ, Allah, all those sky daddy religions are make believe. Whales are real, and the heroes who risk their lives to save them are just as real too.

  6. Hi Hart. I agree that whales are real, as are the lives risked to save them. I admire that. Where we differ is on "sky daddy religion." I think that sky daddy made those whales, and cares about their fate. And I feel certain he cares about the fates of the men and women he made, who are trying to save them.

    Glad you stopped by.

  7. Good word, Rachel!
    I would love to hear more about your great-aunt, if you would like to write about her...I am always inspired to be more like people like her!


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