Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. – Matthew 9:28-30

I’ve mentioned before that my Wednesday evening men’s group is reading the Norman Vincent Peale classic, The Power of Positive Thinking. The text is dated, the language is loaded with sexism, and the ideas are rooted in the 1950’s cultural milieu that nurtured the appetite of the prosperity gospel movement.

That being said, there’s always enough material in each chapter to generate some excellent conversation about faith and discipleship. Not only that, but Peale passes on some great nuggets such as the one I’m writing about today; it comes from the chapter titled Expect the Best and Get it:

  • “People are defeated in life not because of lack of ability, but for lack of wholeheartedness.”

Peale’s point is closely related to my own phrase: “Live like you mean it,” and it also reminds me of the theory I floated in 10 Life-Charged Words: that maximum – or optimal – capacity actually increases as we approach 100% – but the increase only kicks in at the point that we are fully committed.

I told the guys that this principle is a lot like the turbo part of my Golf TDi (so far as I understand mechanics, which isn’t far at all!). I can be driving around with my foot on the pedal, using 20% or even 70% of normal acceleration, the car responding accordingly. But when I put my foot all the way down and approach 100%, that’s when the turbo kicks in and I get 110%, 150%, and more.

Because something else kicks into play when you give everything, and we find that we have resources, potential, and possibility well beyond the parameters we previously imagined were governing our life.

Because something else kicks into play when you give everything, and we find that we have resources, potential, and possibility well beyond the parameters we previously imagined were governing our life.

CONTRAST: Do you know anyone who is naturally gifted, intelligent, and equipped with an exceptional set of gifts for what they’re doing in life… yet they approach it all with 50%, maybe 65%, sometimes even barely 70% of their capacity? And then you know another individual who has possibly less natural talent, yet who applies the principle of wholeheartedness, and you see them surge through 100% and beyond, well into territory even they didn’t know they could occupy?

This is what Jesus promises when he says, “According to your faith let it be…” These men may have been blind, but there are many, many ways where we all fail to see. I believe that failing to see what God is able to do in and through us is always a terrible tragedy.

And still we allow ourselves to get bogged down in pettiness, and arguments over the law, and our sad need to be right rather than free, and our constant focus on ourselves…. and in consequence we engage this amazing life Jesus has called us to at 40%, or 55%, or maybe barely 60% – but our lack of wholeheartedness stops the potential for the promise that something else kicks into play when you give everything, and we sell the kingdom of God short.

We sell the kingdom short. We sell ourselves short.

So here are today’s take-aways:

“People are defeated in life not because of lack of ability, but for lack of wholeheartedness.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“Live like you mean it! Something else kicks into play when you give everything.” – Derek Maul

“According to your faith let it be.” – Jesus

3 thoughts on “something else kicks into play when you give everything

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