“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
–1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
Sam drove up to the track in order to prepare for the big race, and mechanically turned off the car engine. He felt numb as he sat in the car, hunched over like a deformed statue.
Sam did his best thinking during the early morning, when no one else was awake. So he gave himself a verbal pep talk in the thick silence, remembering the errands he had run for his father’s business since he was a child. But he also remembered the beatings. He could never go fast enough to win his father’s approval.
Years later, Father’s words still bit like a serpent as they played over the loudspeaker of Sam’s mind.
“Boy, you’re no good. I doubt you’ll ever be any good to anyone else! This is the only thing you can do.”
It seemed that his father’s predictions had been right, as he failed at everything else he attempted. But he outshone the other high-school boys in track, so he gave running his all. No one sat in the bleachers to watch his success, though, and praise was a foreign concept for him.
Using all the effort he possessed, Sam jerked himself back to the present, reminding himself that this race was meant to raise funds for cancer research. But as he shook himself, Sam couldn’t get rid of the useless feelings that seemed to invade his life.
Sam had thought about the same thing for many months. “I need something different in my life–a real challenge.”
But nothing seemed to present itself, so gritting his teeth, he’d spent hours in rigorous training every day. The rest of his time was consumed by selling potential sponsors on his cancer charity. Maybe his father had been right.
Still in his car, Sam replayed the words which haunted him. Though he still felt defeated, Sam tried to motivate himself by promising that he would explore his horizons. This seemed to work, so sighing, he reluctantly got out of the car, putting one foot in front of the other.
As he headed toward the track, though, another voice seemed to whisper into his heart.
“Sam, you’re right. You need to look elsewhere. This isn’t what you were designed for. You’re cut out for bigger and better things. You’re only kidding yourself if you think you can make a difference with this race.”

As we leave Sam to contemplate these words, I have a question for you. Is your story similar to Sam’s? Do you feel like looking elsewhere, or even throwing in the towel?
“Well, yes, I guess I do,” you may say, “but I don’t see how this story relates to me. I’m not a runner, and I never have been.”
But that is exactly the point, my friend. Sam’s father was wrong, and he failed to take into account the gifts which God had lavished upon him. All of us who are God’s children have been given gifts, so while our daily jobs might seem boring to us, God may have gifted you in a unique way.
Sometimes, all of us look around and see someone else who seems to have it made in the shade, as pictured by the twelve disciples of Jesus. Like them, we may look at where God has placed others with envy, and long to do something great in the eyes of the world. But often, we don’t see the whole picture, or realize the heavy load others have to carry behind the scenes. Since we haven’t walked in their shoes, we tend to romanticize the work which God has given them, and we see the grass as being greener for them. But if we do this, I can guarantee that Satan will be right there to tempt us with other, flashier opportunities.
But the problem usually isn’t with the situation we face. It’s the refusal to seek God’s face during our situation.
He is saying to you and me, “Do you know how much I love you? I want only your best. So learn to be content with what I have given you, and let my love motivate and refresh you.”
You may have a unique gift, but as in Sam’s case, others have scorned it. We all need to learn to listen to God, instead of the naysayers. As you listen to Him, make up your mind to glorify the Lord instead of looking for the applause of men, and each new day will hold more meaning. Instead of looking for a flashing light from heaven to guide you, learn to excel wherever God places you, trading flashiness for faithfulness.
Know that I don’t say these things glibly. I have found myself in many difficult places. But when I wondered why I was even there and I became dissatisfied, I started to look elsewhere. But I often found out that what God was doing in those situations only became apparent years later. For example, those sales jobs which I hated were preparing me for things that I would face in the future, as I deal with people.
We are all in God’s boot camp, and we need to yield to His instruction. So today, if you feel as though you are in a bind, look at the wisdom and goodness of God. If you do that, I promise you that your heart will be set free as you gaze upon Him more and more. Be faithful with what little you have been given, and Jesus said you would be given more.
But also remember that when you experience His love in a deeper way, He becomes the why of your existance. Therefore, what you do in His name springs from that, and has eternal value.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.