Sunday, September 17, 2006

Operation Useful

In my opinion, one of the most magnificent tools the U.S. uses is the aircraft carrier. At a length around 1,071 ft and a width of 271 ft, this “boat” is not your dad’s leisure craft. Just as impressive is the crew’s ability to keep this carrier afloat. With upwards of 5,000 people aboard, the crew must stay organized and remain at the top of their game in order to efficiently keep this bad boy afloat.

Before any aircraft on the carrier is allowed to take off, a FOD walk must be completed. During a FOD walk (which stands for Foreign Object Damage), the flight deck crew walks the length of the deck and looks for anything that isn’t tied down. According a CNN transcript, “Even the smallest piece of debris, like a screw or a tiny scrap of metal, can be sucked into an engine. The consequence could be fatal to crewmen and damaging to aircraft.”

Although the job of walking the flight deck and searching for small debris may to some seem simple, easy and a waste of time, without it there could be fatal consequences. What would happen if a flight deck crewman felt that his job of performing a FOD walk was useless and therefore decided that there was no point? If the crewmen didn’t carry out this job, the whole operation could be hindered. This job, though small, is obviously very important.

Many times, it is easy to feel that what we have to offer God is useless. But no matter how big or how small our part in God’s master plan is, the Bible tells us that nothing we do for the Lord is ever done in vain: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58). With such reassurance that what we do for Christ is never inadequate, we should never allow a feeling of insignificance get in the way of doing the Lord’s work.

Do you ever feel that what you have to offer to God is unimportant? Do you make others feel that what work they do for the Lord is not important in His eyes because of how “small” you think that work is? Just like a crewman’s job of performing a FOD walk on an aircraft carrier is important to the ship’s overall operation, so are the jobs that God has given each and every one us. No matter how small we or others view our work for the Lord, we must “be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work. [Because] nothing [we] do for the Lord is ever useless.”

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