No Excuses

July 9, 2012 - 5:00 am

‘Alas, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’  But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am too young.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” — Jeremiah 1:6–8

Jeremiah is arguably one of the greatest prophets of all time. Yet much like Moses, Jeremiah doesn’t feel very much up to the task. When God reveals to Jeremiah that he is destined to be a great prophet to the nations, he responds:  “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” In other words:  “I can’t.” God, however, says, “You can and you will.”

Matt Scott is an American basketball player who stars in a Nike commercial. For a full minute, we watch Matt as he dribbles the basketball and takes shot after shot at the hoop. All along, he is echoing the excuses that so many people give for not doing things in life —too fat, too skinny, too young, too old, my tummy hurts, I can’t, my coach hates me. Then, after listing many more common complaints – he says, “My feet hurt.”

Just as Matt utters these last words, the camera pans out and we see that he is wheelchair-bound and has no use of his legs or feet. The point of the commercial, of course, is the famous Nike tagline, “Just do it.” The title of the commercial is, appropriately enough, “No excuses.”

Most of the time when we say that we can’t do something it really means that we don’t want to do it — either because the task seems too hard or because we are too scared. As Matt Scott, a gold medal-winning paralympian athlete shows us, when you really want something, you will find a way.

When Jeremiah tells God that he is unable to carry out the mission of delivering God’s message to the nations of the world, God sees right through his excuse. His reply:  “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you . . .” Basically, God tells Jeremiah, “I know that you don’t want to do this because you are afraid that you won’t succeed and afraid that you might get hurt, but do this anyway. I am with you.” God doesn’t accept our excuses, and we shouldn’t either!

So, what’s our excuse? Is there something holding us back from doing what is in our heart? Don’t let anything or anyone hold us back from doing what we know we must do. No excuses!


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