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My favourite T-shirt has this picture on it with the following phrase on it “thanks for the legs suckers!”

dbadderThe photo is of Sir Douglas Badder. If you have never heard of him before. I can highly recommend you grab a copy of his book “Reach for the Sky”

Thanks for the legs suckers!

Douglas Badder. The man who lost his legs in a plane crash, but still went onto become a WW2 fighter ace. Who was eventually shot down, lost his tin legs in the crash. the Germans asked for the English to drop in some new legs via a bomber. Result, he managed to escape repeatedly from captivity.

Douglas Badder, living proof that humanity is capable of achieving incredible things. That there is so much potential within!

the other week I was speaking at a infant dedication about every how child born is extraordinary, is special. How no parent when first seeing their child go’s “meh, he or she is just like everyone else”. Sure they may all look the same, unless you were like my son Zeke who looked like Spock from Star Trek, or like my daughter who looked like Bart Simpson. Just so I am not picking on my kids, I’ll tell you my nan used to call me the pumpkin patch kid, because my head was to big for my body. Well I guess I showed her, because now my body is to big for my head!

in would seem to me that it is true that every child is special, and that within that dna of every child lies the potential for extraordinary good, there is also the potential for the extraordinarily bad as well. There are countless examples of this throughout history.

It would appear that somewhere along life’s journey something takes place and extraordinary people turn into very ordinary people. We all know some very ordinary people don’t we?

At teh dedication I was talking about “how people treat us can affect the outcome of our life”. The reason why the day of dedicated was not just for the child but also for the parents of the child. because on that day the parents are dedicating themselves to seeing the extraordinary unleashed in the life of their child. They were dedicating themselves to the task of bringing the best out of their daughter.

But the truth is we all know it is not as simple as dedicating yourself to saying good things to your child. People don’t achieve greatness simply because we have parents who are dedicated to making certain they child only hears things which would encourage the goodness to be unleashed from within.

Everytime we are placed in a situation in which it would require something extraordinary to overcome to survive, several things can happen.

Firstly, we can loose. But not just lose, but to have that loss define who we become from that moment on. And when that happens it feels like you are a citizen in a very small club… loserville!

Second option, you lose but it takes it toll on you!

In this second option you kind of do the extraordinary when faced with overwhelming odds, or a larger than life enemy, or drama, by hanging in there. By going the full 12 rounds. But you are hurting as a result. Really hurting. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually in ways you never felt possible.

Sometimes you are not even aware how much you are hurting until the next fight in life comes along. The next chance to the extraordinary! You think and feel it is just best if you just go for the ordinary and settle for less.

A third option, is that when placed in a situation in which it would take an extraordinary feat to overcome. You do the extraordinary! And that extraordinary feat helps to define who you are. You go on through life thinking and feeling like no matter what happens, you can overcome. You feel like a conquer!

That’s the feeling I would get on a motorcycle at the track. That’s the feeling of confidence. I know I am not the fastest… by a long shot… But I am sure I am the fastest fatman alive!

Some people just seem to ooze confidence. For some people confidence is like a muscle, the more they use it the stronger they get.

Every person has the potential for the extraordinary, that potential is squashed by the words we hear spoken about us. Every time we hear someone who has some kind of authority in our mind, everytime we hear or see someone we love, say or do something that limits us. We begin to settle for the ordinary.

Life has it way in which we find ourselves in situations in which to overcome we have to do something that is extraordinary, we can either lose and allow that failure to define us and we become very very ordinary. Or we can just hang in but the toll is huge and we may not have the energy for the next fight. End result ordinary. Or we win and the confidence is built up and like a muscle it just goes from strength to strength.

I think there is some truth to all of that, but it is only a partial truth. There is another way to have that extraordinary potential within to come out.

God does indeed have a purpose in this world, and it is to release people from all of the things that hold them in bondage and to empower them to reach their own unique potential. There is a way, and it does not rely on just your ability to do, to fight, to try! His way for that potential to be unleashed is different to the way so many of us think at times.

Philipians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

The most extraordinary being in the entire universe lived to empower others. That was His attitude. In verse 4 Paul tells us the key value of God’s existence applies to us. “Each of us should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others”.

The key, the secret to living an extraordinary life, is tired into the idea of ‘others’, to empower others!

Verse 6-11 describes how Jesus who was truly God in His nature willingly stepped down, identified with sinners, and took the punishment on the cross. He did this for two reasons:

To fulfil God’s perfect will and to save and empower us!

I could stop right there, and simply say. the church, we are, you are, are created to fulfil God’s will and to empower others. There is no fulfill God’s will without empowering others. There is no empowering others without God’s will!

Being a Christian is about having all of that potential within you released to be a leader, to lead others to Jesus, to lead others to the potential they have. Someone said “Leadership is not so much the exercise of power itself as the empowerment of others”.

So to the point of this story. Give up striving for that extraordinary to be released in yourself and simply start serving others, spend your life helping others achieve greatness. And at the end of it all I bet people will look at you and your life and say “thanks for the legs suckers!”


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