What do Ananias in the New Testament, Jonathan in the Old, and a man named Hercules Mulligan have in common?
Ananias obeyed God by finding a known hunter of Christians on a street called Straight in Damascus. He reached out to this persecutor and healed his blinded eyes.*
Jonathan rescued his harp-playing, giant-slaying friend more than once by warning him of deadly plots hatched against him.*
Hercules Mulligan, tailor to British aristocrats in 1770s New York City, risked everything to save the larger-than-life commander of an army—twice.
All three men were closely connected to famous movers and shakers in history. All three became lost in these great men’s shadows. Most importantly, all three faithfully performed the tasks set before them, however little glory came their way as a result.
Ananias overcame fear and met with a man then known as Saul, now known as the Apostle Paul, writer of much of the New Testament and emissary of Christ’s gospel to the Gentile world.
Jonathan befriended and vigilantly guarded the safety of a man destined to sit on a throne that, by lineage, belonged to Jonathan. The man was King David, future ruler of Israel, author of many Psalms, ancestor of Jesus Christ. Jonathan knew of God’s promise to David, yet he didn’t let envy stand in his way.
Mulligan lived the dangerous double-life of a spy, sewed red coats with his ears pricked-up, and smuggled the information he overheard to the Patriots. His intel twice saved the life of General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, future president of the Constitutional Convention, first president of the United States of America.
These three men tackled the tasks God gave them with bravery, determination and a commitment to their causes that didn’t leave room for ego.
What tasks are you facing today?
If you’re like me, it’s difficult not to be distracted by the greener grass of someone else’s task. The waitress longs to be the restaurateur, the stay-at-home mom yearns to wear the high-power pantsuit and chair the business meeting, the . . . you fill in the blank.
But today I hope you’ll find it freeing to stare right across the fence into that greener pasture and think, “That’s her task, not mine.” And then, return your gaze to your own task—and give it your best effort.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23
*See Acts 9
*See 1 Samuel 19 and 20