Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chuck Norris, My Mom and Jesus

A couple of months ago my wife and I started teaching a new Sunday school class for high school aged students in our church. We wanted to do something with the students that would be both fun and challenging, more like Youth Group on Sunday mornings. So, we meet together, talk about current events, our lives, Jesus, justice, play the occasional game, watch the occasional video and study something or other. For a few months, that something or other is going to be a book called Do Hard Things. It's this really cool book, written by two teens (at the time of publication), named Alex and Brett Harris. The subtitle is A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, and that about sums up the premise of the book: teens are capable of more than is expected of them...and many want to raise the bar themselves. 

Oh, and the forward was written by Chuck Norris. 
It's like a roundhouse kick to the (pre)face. 

In one swift judo chop sentence, Norris writes, "One of my life's principles is to develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways and to help others do the same."

Auwghh... I need to take a nap. That's an incredible sentence, even without being a life principle. And that is just "one" of his life's principles!

I'm not sure if I attempt to develop myself to the maximum of my potential in even one area of my life...much less in "all ways".  

It reminds me of something that my mother used to say to me, though.
Every day, as we'd be leaving for school, she'd walk us out of the house, and as we headed toward the bus stop she'd call out behind us "strive for excellence!!"  

Seriously. Almost every day. Awesome, huh? 

And you know what? It worked. I totally remember days when I'd be tired, or bored or just simply unmotivated and I would remember my mother's challenge - to strive for excellence. Even into college and my adult life, there are still days when I remember that I was charged to strive for excellence. 

Jesus once said that the reason that he came was so that his followers "may have life, and have it to the full." Surely that includes must be an Aramaic undertone. He also said that his disciples would do even greater things than he did! If it's better than Jesus did, it must be excellence. 

So, while some days, I totally feel as if I've failed my dear mother, and I'm painfully aware of how un-Norris-like I am...I am following Jesus. He is faithful. He is changing me, and by the Spirit's power, my Christian siblings and I will do even greater things than he did. With faith even as small as a mustard seed, I might even be able to move mountains. 

Let's see Chuck Norris do that.

**by the way, did you know that besides being completely epic, Chuck Norris is a Christian?

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