Several years ago, I was given a book entitled 212: The Extra Degree. The basic premise is the following:
At 211º water is hot. At 212º, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. The one extra degree makes the difference. This simple analogy reflects the ultimate definition of excellence. Because it’s the one extra degree of effort, in business and life, that can separate the good from the great.
This week, our church has been focusing on that one degree of change, that one single degree that makes a world of difference. Whether it’s the pinpoint accuracy of an arrow shooting from an archer’s bow or the meticulous charting of a navigator on a ship, one degree can mean the difference between reaching your goal or straying far from it…and ultimately between life and death. Spiritually speaking, that one degree of change have a tremendous impact on not only our daily lives but also on eternity. And this morning, the question was asked: will you be the one God uses?
That question – those 7 simple words – challenge me deeply. Because I can never fully know God’s plan this side of eternity, I must constantly follow, obey, and submit my wants and desires to His will and His plan. Because I can never fully see the far-reaching effects of my words and actions, I must continually be on guard against unkindness, favoritism, or hypocrisy. Because I can never completely anticipate God’s timing or comprehend the scope of His knowledge, I must actively take advantage of opportunities that He brings my way.
Often, that’s hard. I get tired. I get overwhelmed, emotionally and spiritually. I’m afraid of what the commitment will cost. I don’t have time. But in the grand scheme of eternity, those are sorry excuses. And quite honestly, God doesn’t ask of me what He’s not willing to provide. I’ve got the resources of the King of the Universe at my disposal. All I have to do is ask.
And so that questions stirs my heart again: will I be the one God uses?
As I ponder this question, I’m reminded of a song that was released shortly after I graduated from college. Despite the mullets, big hair, shoulderpads and pegged jeans depicted in the video, the message still challenges me even after all these years…will I be the one God uses?
The answer is, simply, yes. May my heart remain yielded, willing, and ready. Ready to help. Ready to serve. Ready to do the work. Ready to be the one degree of change that can make a difference in the world.