The old Continental Oil Company once had a full-page advertisement in a national magazine. The ad consisted of a drawing of a vine trapped inside a maze. The vine had sent out one shoot after another, trying to find the light of the sun, only to reach a dead end every time.
Finally, there was one shoot which wound its way around corners and through the maze until it reached the only exit. In freedom it reached upward toward the sunshine.
The point was that the company was constantly searching for alternative sources of energy. The headline in the ad read: “Nature doesn’t explore just one path to reach a goal. Neither should man.”
Let’s apply those words to our own lives in as many ways as we can. It is inevitable that we will run up against obstacles from time to time. When we’ve reached a dead end, do we give up, or do we keep trying?
Abigail Van Buren, of “Dear Abby” fame, once wrote about the obstacles human beings face, and the spirit which rises up to overcome:
“Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington. Afflict him with asthma as a child, and you have a Theodore Roosevelt. Make him play second fiddle in an obscure South American orchestra, and you have a Toscanini. Deny her the ability to see, hear, and speak, and you have a Helen Keller.”
Those are certainly inspiring words, aren’t they? And there is a certain victorious determination that sets some human beings apart from all others. Followers of Christ should be head-and-shoulders above everyone else when it comes to living determined, victorious lives regardless of the circumstances.
Paul expressed his belief that in whatever situation we may find ourselves, we should commit ourselves fully to God, that we should serve and honor Him in everything. He wrote, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58b).
If a vine in a maze doesn’t give up, then certainly neither should any follower of Christ.
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com