Written by Dave Lenehan
Welcome to Weekly Thoughts! If you are new to The Double Edge, this is a short devotional/Scripture thought that I send out each week during the school year. Feel free to pass this on to anyone. I hope throughout the year that you find encouragement, inspiration and challenge from these weekly visits. Thanks.
My family and I had the privilege of spending a week at the beach last month in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Specifically, we rented a friend’s house near Kitty Hawk. We’re pretty sure we’ve never spent an entire weekat the beach, and as you might guess, the time was refreshing, restorative and wonderful (sorry if that just made you a tad jealous).
As you know, Kitty Hawk is the site of the Wright Brothers first flight – in fact, the first flight in the U.S. EVER. Initially inspired by watching eagles fly, they flew their Wright Flyer, the first powered lighter-than-air craft, just a short distance after lifting off from the dunes just south of Kitty Hawk. We took a hike to those dunes one evening to catch the sunset. I’ve witnessed the dunes at Cape Cod, MA a few times, but these dunes were massive. It’s no wonder Orville and Wilbur chose that spot for their first flight.
The Wright brothers got their start in the world of mechanics by running a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. I can imagine the conversation there one day:
Orville to customer, “Guess what?”
Wilbur, “We’re building an airplane.”
Customer, “What’s an airplane?”
Orville, “It’s a flying machine!”
Customer, “Really? A flying machine from a bicycle shop?”
Wilbur, “You betcha!” (or something like that)
The Wrights chose Kitty Hawk, NC because the wind was right. Sure, the high dunes helped. But the wind they found at Kitty Hawk was really what they needed to get airborne.
At last week’s Global Leadership Summit, Bishop T.D. Jakes noted, “they were making bicycles but thinking airplanes.” He pointed out that the Wrights had found a human need – to travel faster to places farther away – and responded to it. As followers of Christ, we are called to do the same: to find a human need…or a human in need…and respond.
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40, NIV)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, NIV)
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17, NIV)
As you go through this first semester of the school year, be on the lookout for ways you can show the love and care of Jesus to others. It might be a conversation, a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza, an hour under the hood of their car…just be sure you respond. You might not come up with something as revolutionary as the Wright Flyer, but in the life of that person you reach out to, you might just be the agent of change they need.
Have an incredible semester! I’ll catch up again next week.