February 18

Written by Bill Grandi on February 18th, 2020

My title for this devotion is Try vs Never Try.

Do you remember (or maybe I’m showing my age) a man named Evil Knievel? He was a motorcycle daredevil. He probably broke more bones than I have in my whole body! Some would call him nuts. Some called him crazy. Others might be more clinical and call him “certifiable.” 🙂 I’m not adverse to any of those because NO WAY under God’s green earth would I be caught dead doing what he did. Oh…wait a minute. I would be dead. Jumping buses on a motorcycle? Not a chance. Jumping to dunk a basketball was dangerous enough. Doing loop-de-loops then taking to the air? Nope again. Claim a sky-cycle will take me from one end of an Idaho gorge to the other end. Over my dead body. Exactly!

But there is one thing you can never accuse him of: not trying. I looked up this quote by Teddy Roosevelt:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.

I don’t know if Evil used that as his motivation or not, but it sure says a lot. As someone has said, “It is better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all.”

As an aging pastor and as a pastor of a small church in a small town, it is easy to get cynical. To get locked into “the old ways” of doing things the way they’ve always been done. Ministry is so different in 2020 than it was in 1974. The Gospel has never changed; the methods of proclamation have. While I’m not into the attractional model (think seeker-sensitive) and performance-oriented worship services, I must realize that change happens all the time. No change=death. The way I see it if something is not anti-Scriptural and it fits the culture of my town/my setting, give it a try. If it fails, least I tried.

And God is still there.

“Father, help me not to close off You nor close off the opportunities presented to me. You just may be saying, ‘Try it Bill. Then stand back and watch Me work.’ Help me not to be old and crotchety about trying new things.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. This made me chuckle this morning. “Old and crotchety” is a term I use. I never heard anyone else ever say that. Yes, change we must with the times, without compromise, though. Good post, Bill. I love the quote! It says a lot.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I have heard others use it of others Diane but never of me. AHEM! Seriously, I hope it never is. But glad I made you chuckle. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Ryan S says:

    One thing is for certain… Our God is a God of Change…

    Not that He Himself changes, but He changes us… I would expect that could also trickle down into how He reaches others through us as the church.

  3. Change is inevitable, and we must be open to new things when they don’t go against the truths of Scripture. When we’re willing to try, God just might reveal a brand new way to live for Him.
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right Martha. Change is inevitable and being open to new things is essential. I believe if God is in it His blessing will be also.

  4. floyd says:

    Wow. Awesome post, brother.

    So many Christians live with too much fear and that’s why the Bible talks so much about it. We all have to fight it. I think God is honored in our admirable pursuits. He is the One that born us with the innate desire to accomplish more which only comes through change.

    I respect your outlook and wisdom. Your church is blessed to have you. And you them.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Floyd. Your words humble me. But I do believe you have touched on the exact thought: fear paralyzes.