Nik Wallenda is a seventh generation member of the Flying Wallendas. Their circus family is famous for performing stunts on a high-wire without a net. Nik has earned nine Guinness World Records for his daredevil acts. He has walked across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. But according to Wallenda, his greatest accomplishment is inspiring others to chase their dreams and to never give up.
In the same Time magazine edition profiling Wallenda, we learn about Eric Larsen, a man who spends his life traveling to the world’s coldest places. He recently completed expeditions to the North Pole, the South Pole, and the top of Mt. Everest, all in one year. Larsen has a larger purpose: he seeks to educate the rest of us about the changing climates of the places he visits.
Time also tells us about Scott Jurek, a world-class Ultramarathoner. He has won the Western States 100-mile race seven straight times, the Badwater 135 mile race twice, and the 153 mile Spartathalon three times. In 2010 he set an American record by running a total of 6.5 marathons in 24 hours. Jurek seeks to inspire others to push their minds and bodies beyond what they thought possible.
What do Wallenda, Larsen and Jurek have in common? They are doing amazing things in the service of an even greater purpose.
Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor and world-renowned psychiatrist : “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.'” He added: “In the Nazi concentration camps, one could have witnessed that those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill were most apt to survive.”
God created you for great things. Jesus told his disciples, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16). God had a purpose for creating you, as illustrated by his word to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). As a result, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Our job is to focus on our God-given purpose, seeking its fulfillment in all we do. (Tweet this) Scripture is clear: “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Corinthians 7:17). With this promise: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).
God may not call you to walk over the Grand Canyon or climb Mt. Everest or run 6.5 marathons in 24 hours. But to paraphrase Frankl, there is a task waiting for you today. If you seek God’s will, you will know it. If you fulfill it, your obedience today will echo in eternity.
So “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). And know that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Every day is another day to change the world.
Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture