Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Slower than Gilbert Brown


The following article is an excerpt from my book, Filled Up, Poured Out: How God's Spirit Can Revive Your Passion and Purpose:
A few years ago our family visited the Green Bay Packer training camp, to watch our gridiron heroes, and collect a few autographs.  Right across the street from the practice field, the team had set up a special tourist attraction called The Packer Experience.
For a not-so-nominal fee, fans were invited to become imaginary Packers.  After some arm twisting, I relented, and took the gang in to join the team! 
We tried on shoulder pads, wore authentic jerseys, tossed a game-used football, had our knees taped, and received black smudges under our eyes.  The Packer Experience included a 40 yard dash, where sprinting fans were clocked and compared with Packer players.
“Dad!  Let’s see you do it!” my son, Ryan urged.
“Nah,” I replied, “I don’t want to show anybody up.”
“Oh, c’mon Dad!  Be a good sport,” chimed the rest of the children, “You can do it!”
So, I did.
I hunched over the starting line, and, at the signal, took off like a shot, running as fast as my squatty little legs could carry me.  Music from “Chariots of Fire” echoed in my mind.
My grinning kids stood at the finish.  To congratulate me?  Not a chance!   They were just waiting to have some fun at my expense!  As I crossed the line, they doubled over, howling with laughter.
“Dad!” they hooted, “You’re slower than Gilbert Brown!!”
Now, Gilbert Brown was a honking monster lineman, pushing 400 pounds.  His bigness was legendary – so big, a Green Bay restaurant advertised giant-sized Gilbert Burgers on the menu.  Ol’ Gilbert was, by far, the slowest player on the team – and I was slower than him!  Might as well paste a “slow moving vehicle” sign on my back.
A few weeks later, however, I was in a Boeing 737, flying to a speaking engagement.  The little information guide in the seat pocket said we traveled at 585 miles per hour!  I thought, “Who’s going faster now, Gilbert Brown?” 
Gilbert couldn't touch that.  I was going faster than the fastest Packer!  In fact, I was zipping along quicker than Devin Hester, Bob “The Bullet” Hayes, and even the Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt!
My travel at such super-human speed was entirely due, to a power far beyond my own!  My job was to board the plane, and the pilot took care of the rest!
And that’s what the enduement of spiritual power does, enabling us to accomplish far more than we could on our own.  “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the Lord Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).

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