Create Something Great About Something
Live in such a way that, when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry.
By Ed Delph
February 21, 2022
Let’s explore some rare insight by an unknown author. “You glow differently when you have good people with good intentions in your life.” We could also say you glow differently when you are happy. Or you glow differently when you are loved and treated well. How about, you glow differently when you're not hating, hurting, bitter, or messy? Finally, you glow better when you create something great for others that comes from love or genuine altruism, not some self-serving agenda.
George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Of course, finding yourself is essential, but finding yourself doesn't end with finding yourself. Instead, we find ourselves to create ourselves, hopefully for genuine service or ministry to others.
In Elmer Bendiner's book, The Fall of Fortresses, on page 139, he describes one bombing run in World War II over the German city of Kassel. Read, grow, be inspired.
“Our B-17 (The Tondelayo) was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but our gas tanks were hit on this occasion. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple.
The morning following the raid, Bohn went to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of our unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but eleven were found in the gas tanks-eleven unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. Even after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.
Bohn told him that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. When the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them.
One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. In Czech, the message read: 'This is all we can do for you now.'
Wow, what a powerful statement, especially when you consider the origin of those written words. For much of World War II, German munitions were made by Jews in Nazi Death Camps – Slave Labor. These Jewish prisoners carried out their duties, loading explosives in the shadows of the gas chambers that would claim many of their lives. Yet, in those direst of circumstances, they were looking for goodness – looking to do good in any way they could.
One thing they could do was disable the firing mechanisms in the munitions. And because of their actions, the crews' lives were saved. Men came home from the war, married, built homes, and had families. And those families had families and so on. Their small, seemingly insignificant act of goodness echoes for generations. It still resonates today."
Here are my thoughts about this historical event.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Notice how the prisoners maximized their plight and pivoted. If their situation wouldn't change immediately, they created something great for others. They became innovative disrupters in the nick of time. They took the risk of their lives and saved someone else who was risking their lives. They made a deep dive into their deep reserves. They didn’t save all, but they did save some. And one of those someone's made known to the world what no one knew about. The prisoners created for themselves a legacy that others will admire for years.
The same can be true for us. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” You never know how your witness or your good deeds to and for another will affect their eternity. To the world, you might be one person, but to one person, you might be the world. Just ask the crew of the Tondelayo, who reaped the benefit of some unknown Jewish prisoners who created something good out of something bad.
Here's our takeaway. You are created by a Creator who created you to create something great about something. The best this world can get is you, being you, with God all over you. So get out of the seat and into the street. Be an innovative disrupter in the nick of time in these chaotic times. Find a need and meet it. Be the change. Be on-site with insight. Now is not the time to isolate, now is the time to incarnate. The Word needs to become flesh and move into the neighborhood.
Create a great business, service, or ministry. Create a great kind disposition and smile. Create a great honest community. Live in such a way that, when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry.
One final thought for you - “this is all we can do for you now," innovative disrupters. Karl Menninger said, “Love cures people; both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” How do I know? Both givers and receivers glow differently.
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com