Does God Require Quality Work? (Y1.T1.D59)
Updated: Feb 9
Unsplash, "Sven Scheuermeier"
In the previous post, we saw how a little boy's lunch was enough to feed an army of followers. God loves to take the underqualified and make them shine.
However, this doesn't mean we should bring him junk. While we are unable to turn a small lunch into a banquet for thousands, we need to bring our best.
A good example of this is Mr. Rogers. His homemade puppets—King Friday and Lady Elaine—were no match for the genius of Jim Henson, but that did not stop him from making the best children's television program he possibly could.
On December 15, 2020, Biography published an article titled “How Mister Rogers Changed Children’s Television.” The following excerpts provide a glimpse of what motivated this amazing man:
“I went into television because I hated it so,” Fred Rogers once explained of his decision to join the burgeoning medium in an interview with CNN.
. . . he graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1963 and was ordained a minister in the United Presbyterian Church.
Though religion would remain a compass throughout his life, it was television that allowed him a conduit and platform for his life’s work. Amazed by the device he first witnessed in his parent’s living room during a visit home while in his senior year of college, Rogers set out to be a part of the rapidly expanding and developing industry of mass communication. According to Rogers, “The space between the television set and that person who is watching is very holy ground.”
As an under-nurtured child, I watched Mr. Rogers well into my teenage years. It was the 1970s and I didn’t fully understand why I was drawn to something the world considered corny.
As an adult, I believe Fred Rogers modeled the faith we will read about in today’s passages. Television was new and unknown and maybe as intimidating as walking on the sea of Galilee was to Peter. Scary or not, both men stepped onto an unknown sea and believed they would not sink.
And I can do the same.
In 2010 I printed the first recompilation of The Mosaic Bible Experience and shared it with one of my prayer partners. We read it throughout 2011. It needed more work, so I took notes and began again.
For over a decade, I’ve tried to bring my best and trust God for the rest.
I now step out of the boat and enjoy the insane wonder of walking on the water. And when insecurities and failures occur, Jesus always extends his hand to me. He pulls my soaked dreams back into the boat, and we get busy again.
Consider the quote from Mr. Rogers I found in a 2021 Parade Magazine article: "I’m proud of you for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you had ever done."
Those encouraging words are inspiring enough for me to believe they are a direct quote from our loving Father in heaven.
I'll Give You My Best
14 When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, “This is truly the prophet who comes into the world.” 15 Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea. (John 16:14–16)
19a When therefore they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, (John 6:19a)
48a [Jesus] Seeing them distressed in rowing, (Mark 6:48a)
28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters.”
29 He said, “Come!”
Peter stepped down from the boat and walked on the waters to come to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28–31)
51b and they were very amazed among themselves, and marveled; 52 for they hadn’t understood about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6:51b–52)
33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!” (Matthew 14:33)
21b Immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
22a On the next day, (John 6:21b–22a)
22b the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one in which his disciples had embarked, and that Jesus hadn’t entered with his disciples into the boat, but his disciples had gone away alone. 23 However boats from Tiberias came near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus wasn’t there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. (John 6:22b–24)
Thank You! I know every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who doesn't change (James 1:17). And as a generous Father, You give good things to those who ask You (Matthew 7:11). So help me bring my best. I want to employ the gifts You provide by serving others, as a good manager of Your wonderful grace (1 Peter 4:10).
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