I just finished reading “Highest Duty,” the story of US Airways pilot Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III. On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when “Sully” skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew aboard. His story was made into a movie entitled, “Sully,” a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography “Highest Duty,” and starring Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger.
Captain Sullenberger wrote that on January 14, 2009, his life had been a series of thoughtful opportunities to be the best pilot, leader, and teammate he could be. He said he was an anonymous, regular guy, a husband, father, and US Airways pilot. On January 15, circumstances changed everything, a reminder that none of us ever knows what tomorrow will bring.
As his parents raised him, Chesley told his daughters over and over that each of us has the responsibility to prepare ourselves well. He wanted them to invest in themselves, to never stop learning, either personally or professionally. Regardless if they are ever noticed, Chesley urged his girls to ask themselves a simple question: Am I ready to make a difference?
The story of Captain Sullenberger was a riveting account of a man trained to do his job, one he did well for decades, outside of any recognition. He says he went to work every, like many in other professions, quietly, ready, and prepared to do his best, his part, and to serve others.
It got me thinking of people in Scripture that operated in a similar manner. The Bible records stories of men and women who took their gifts, calling, and sense of responsibility to do Kingdom work. Sometimes they are named, and sometimes they did their part in obscurity. But God recognizes and appreciates them.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Hebrews 11:13-16.
Consider Bezalel in Exodus 35:30-35: Then Moses said to the Israelites, “…the Lord has chosen Bezalel…and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, and with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs…in gold, silver and bronze…and the ability to teach others. The Lord called this artist and gave him great skill, understanding, and the ability to teach. Bezalel used his gifts faithfully for God’s purposes.
Consider the unnamed widow in 1 Kings 17: 8-24: Then…the Lord came to Elijah, saying…”See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” In providing hospitality for the man of God, the widow received miraculous blessing – food for many days and her son brought back to life.
Consider the unnamed 288 skilled musicians in 1 Chronicles 25:1-7: David and the captains of the army separated for service some…who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. Music is not merely for our enjoyment, but for the honor of God and His battle.
Most of us will never get our 15 minutes of fame, even if we wanted to. But God gifted and designed us to live meaningful lives and make a difference. Serve globally. Be inspired to join the ranks of the not-particularly-famous-and-maybe-never-noticed-but-much-needed Kingdom volunteers.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz