Friday, August 28, 2015
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Each winter certain parts of America get hammered, of course, with monster snow storms. And when it's our turn, we all have stories about how we survived the winter of whatever year.
But no one has a story like a Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland. I never met him, so I hope I got it right. But for 64 days he saw little more than white. He was the first person to cross the continent of Antarctica alone and unaided. It took him 64 days to cover a frozen 1,675 miles. He actually harnessed Antarctica's fierce winds by strapping himself to a parachute-like sail. Get this! And with the winds in his favor, he could ski as much as 140 miles a day. All the while, he towed a sled carrying more than 300 pounds of supplies; enduring monotony and temperatures that dipped under 40 below.
After his incredible journey, Ousland talked about the huge mental challenge of facing seemingly endless fields of snow. You know how he did it? In his own words, "It's so big and so far, you have to keep concentrating on the near future and make every day a victory." Wow!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "So Big, So Far, So Do-able."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 6:25 and following. "Do not worry about your life" Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?' Your Heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Jesus' orders here are pretty clear; He says them three times. Did you get them? "Do not worry." What makes us worry? Things that are, I guess in the words of that Antarctica explorer, "So big, so far." In fact right now you might be facing a situation like that, maybe several of them. They look as huge as the vast expanse of Antarctica must have looked to that explorer.
You're looking at and maybe worrying about an overwhelming challenge in your finances, or your family, it could be your health, or huge responsibilities you have right now, or a relationship. But your anxiety is contributing absolutely nothing to managing the situation. If anything, worry is actually paralyzing you or distorting your judgment or robbing you of the energy that you need for this challenge.
Listen to the teaching of your Master, "Don't keep dragging your tomorrows into today." Worry is trying to live your tomorrow before you get there; before you have the grace for that day that God only issues in 24-hour increments. Jesus is saying, "Just do today."
Now, that's how one man handled the seemingly endless winter of his Antarctic journey. He said, "You have to keep concentrating on the near future" - like today. He said, "Make every day a victory." That's how you deal with parenting when it's taking everything you've got. It's how you beat a sin that has beaten you for a long time. It's how you dig your way out of a mountain of debt. It's how you manage the unmanageable. Make every day a victory.
And on those days that don't exactly turn out to be victorious, put that day behind you and start fresh on that next new day. Remember, the Bible says, "His mercies are new every morning." When you stop worrying about tomorrow and you focus on today, and you focus on your Heavenly Father who knows everything you need, what seems so big and so far becomes so do-able.