Not long ago, I saw a video of Billy Graham sitting in a chair at his North Carolina home. In his nineties, his recorded voice revealed the weakness of age and his fight with Parkinson’s, but his conviction of spirit rang through as though he were still standing in a stadium in front of thousands.
I thought of that scene and remembered a college classmate who had the audacity to say, “Billy Graham is getting old and someone needs to take his place. I think I am ready to be the next Billy Graham!” His statement leads me to several observations:
- Though Mr. Graham may have seemed “old” to us at the time, he was in his forties. Hmmmm.
- My classmate had a certain passion about him and was an engaging preacher. He was ready to set the world on fire for Jesus. To the best of my knowledge, he ended up flaming out…just like many others with similar dreams.
- No one who wanted to be Billy Graham really understood the commitment level of Billy Graham. The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham, by Harold Myra and Marshall Shelley, is one of the best leadership books I have read. It gives keen insight into just how hard the evangelist worked. His life has been about far more than speaking in large stadiums.
- Wanting to be Billy Graham is ludicrous. God only made one. The flip side of this argument is that God also only made one of my classmate. If only he could have set his sights on how to be the person God created him to be!
This brings me to the simple point of this post. If you want to live an “Unstuck” life, you need to figure out who you are. The longer you try to walk through life in someone else’s shoes, the longer you will stay stuck. In my early ministry years, I worked part-time at a church in the inner city. The pastor, Jim, was a large, strong country boy from Idaho. He didn’t have much education. His preaching lacked polish. He knew little about administration, but his wife helped keep things organized. Jim, however, saw the needs in his poor neighborhood and went to work. He enlisted a few of the men in the church and they built apartments to house senior adults who couldn’t afford to live other places. He looked for ways to care for the people who lived all around that church, a place of poverty, crime and fear. People came to Christ there because Jim loved them and taught his church to love them. During the three years we were there with our young family, he helped teach us to love them, too. I’m so glad that Jim didn’t try to be someone else!
God made you on purpose. Rick Warren said it well in the opening paragraph of The Purpose Driven Life: "The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.” You aren’t an accident. No one on the planet can be a better you than you…no one! If you can get hold of this truth, it will help you live the best life you can possibly live…one that gets “Unstuck" and stays there. That’s our topic at Stone Ridge Church this Labor Day Weekend! Hope you can join us. Can’t make it? Catch the podcast!