When I was a kid, my Uncle Maurice was the Christian Education Pastor at a church in Lexington, KY. The Sr. Pastor’s name was Wayne Smith. Wayne was quite a guy. He served the Southland Christian Church for more than forty years. One of Wayne's most effective gits was humor. He possessed a sense of humor and an infectious laugh that could soften even the hardest of hearts. Wayne was a big man. And whenever he told a joke or a funny story, in a sermon or in conversation—which was often—he would throw his head back, look up and bust out with a belly laugh that just cracked you up. If you’re a Star Wars fan, his laugh sounded a little bit like Jabba the Hutt’s. You couldn’t help but laugh with him. I’m giggling a little bit right now just thinking about it. Wayne had a wonderful way of disarming people with humor and then laying a powerful word from God on their heart.
He had a lot of sayings that he used often. One of them was, “It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys” (Insert belly laugh). Can you relate? I sure can, I want to be a can-do person! I want to soar! I want to be a source of encouragement and hope to people around me! But sometimes it’s tough to be an optimistic upper-person in a Debbie-downer world!
Have you ever heard the illustration about crabs in a bucket? If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, they’ll never escape. Not because they can’t climb out, but because as soon as one of them tries the other crabs will grab onto him and pull him back down.
Spiritually, do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by crabs; you’re trying so hard to climb out of this bucket, but the people around you just keep pulling you down? Wayne was onto something, it is hard to soar with the eagles when you’re surrounded by crabs and turkeys!
Wayne’s little saying about turkeys and the crabs both serve as another powerful reminder that if we are going to be effective agents of Christ-centered hope and optimism in this Debbie-downer world—we must stay plugged, continually, into Jesus!
“I am the true vine… Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1, 4-5).
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