I hate it when my kids give me excuses. Especially when I’ve given them a task I am counting on them to finish. It is so disappointing to realize that what I thought would be done wasn’t. Then my plans for the next item (which is sometimes fun and relaxing) have to be put off.
My boys and I had a long talk about excuses. Someone who gives excuses is painting themselves as powerless to effect change. It’s not attractive in women or men but is particularly unsavory in men in whom we expect to find high levels of ambition, resourcefulness, and determination. I don’t want to be like the Spartan mothers who told their sons to “come back with their shield or upon it,” but I do expect some brainpower to be applied to the problem of breaking up a large cardboard box so that it fits in the recycling bin. “It doesn’t fit,” is not good enough for me when I’ve seen entire forts erected in a day out of sundry materials.
I guess resourcefulness and determination is a character trait we need to build into our kids. We need to demand it from them because Christ demands it from us. He asks us to do more than we can so that we develop determination to try what He tells us to do despite the odds surrounding us. At the same time, we learn that true resourcefulness means devoting what we have to the cause and depending on Him to make it enough for the task.
When Jesus asked his disciples in John 6 to feed the five thousand, Andrew went and brought what he could find. He was as resourceful as he could be. It took a degree of determination to try of fulfill Christ’s desire by searching the crowd for food rather than throwing up his hands in despair. Jesus blessed what he brought and accomplished the feeding of the crowd through His power.
Christ expects us to answer the call He puts on our lives. Not having what we think we need doesn’t matter. The master of the servants (who represents the Father) in the parable of the talents states, “You knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I have not scattered seed.” Do I really believe that? Then I might as well keep bringing Him my resources and asking Him to make it enough for the job. To do less is to disappoint him and I hate the thought of that more than anything. Dear Jesus, grace me with the determination to be truly resourceful–to bring what I have before you and to depend on your power to enable it to be enough to feed others.