Friday, July 25, 2014

Running out of Excuses


Church Bulletin Article: July 27th, 2014
Living Lesson:  Running ... Out of Excuses
by Topher Wiles
Here's an old dadism from my father, "Excuses are like warts on a toad, everyone's got em."  When I heard it at a young age it just evoked this irksome irritated feeling from me.  Yet as I've matured I realized what my dad was really saying, "Boy, you can do better.  Quit letting your excuses hold you back."

You don't have to be a kid to own a long list of decent sounding excuses.  I remember when I was on my first Honduras trip with Allen Burris in 2012.  Allen asked me to go running with him for three miles.  I didn't like running, but I agreed for this first morning. After running  miles this crazy man stated, "By the end of this trip, I want you to run 10 miles with me."

This hombre was "loco" and I told him so!  I had never run anywhere near that distance.! I hated running!  I couldn't physically do it!  I had bad knees from being a baseball catcher!  These were mountains and high altitude!

The excuses kept piling on.  I finally "ran" out of excuses and I made the 10 miles with Allen.  It wasn't the most pleasurable thing I've ever done, but since that time I've run three more 10 milers in Honduras with friends and several longer runs in the states.  Running out of excuses helped me reach my higher potential, reach a much better health, and has now given me a hobby my family enjoys doing together!

Since I tend to expect a high potential out of people around me (often higher than they expect of themselves) I hear a lot of excuses.  Mission trips, VBS, speaking opportunities, community service, and church leadership opportunities seem to bring tons of excuses out of the men and women around me.  Some are quite creative and amusing, some are very valid, but many are just pathetic justifications for living less than Jesus' abundant life.  I wish I could help everyone run out of excuses.

In Luke 14:15-23 Jesus tells of people who were invited to participate in something good, but they all had excuses.  At the end of the parable the invitation giver gives up and admits, "I tell you the truth, not a one of those invited will get a taste of my banquet."

I've still got my excuses and by God's grace my dad's wisdom is slowly sinking in so that I use my excuse list less all the time.  Lord willing, one day I'll be free from this imprisoning list completely to enjoy the full banquet God has set before me.  Can I convince you to examine yourself and your excuses?  I assure you you'll suffer less warts, enjoy better banquets, and have access to Jesus' abundant life.