“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it Genesis 2:15”.  As we experience the gift of Life in areas of physical/health, emotional/relational, financial and spiritual; God expects us to ‘take care of it’ and bear fruits.    As you read the story below, do evaluate yourself…in which area of your life are you a Joseph, Miriam?  Do you sight a Solomon in any area of your life which needs to be addressed?

 “There were three classmates in a small town who all dreamed of running in the Olympic games. Joseph, Miriam, and Solomon all dreamed of walking in the Olympic parade, then running down the track with other competitors from many countries. This dream motivated each of them to take different steps. Joseph and Miriam discussed what they needed to do in order to become strong and to develop their athletic abilities. They ate only healthy food and got up before dawn to run through the hills around their town every morning. They competed in track meets around their region. Over time, and as they trained, their running speed became faster and faster. Eventually, they attracted the attention of an Olympic coach for their area. The coach offered to take them to a big city and prepare them for the Olympic tryouts.

But Solomon decided to take a different approach. He wanted to be in the Olympics too, but he would wait for God to be the one to put him there. Solomon sat at home every day dreaming and praying about being in the games. He tasted Joseph and Miriam‘s healthy food, but he did not like it. It did not taste as good as the sweet and fatty foods that he ate. Nor did he like getting up early to run. In fact, he didn‘t like to run once he started to perspire heavily. He would save it for when he was running in front of a crowd at the Olympics. Then, it would be worth the discomfort, but not when there was no one to watch him.

So instead of running, he bought a video about the Olympics and watched it every day. He learned the names of the champions of the past and visualized himself running across the finish line, the crowd cheering as he raised his hands in the air. He prayed and prayed that God would call him to run in the Olympics, claiming Psalm 37:5, ―Commit your future to the LORD! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. He kept believing that God would send someone to invite him to run in the games and empower him to win. His ‘faith’ faltered when Joseph and Miriam were invited to train for the Olympic tryouts. He was not happy for them, but glowered in front of the television, disillusioned with God because he had not been chosen.

At the training center, Joseph and Miriam worked harder than ever before: running all day; following the directions of the coach, lifting weights, eating only what the coach permitted. When finally the day came, they were prepared for the tryouts and ran their fastest. But Joseph was not among the top finishers. He had run well, but he would not join the Olympic team this time. Only Miriam went on to compete in the Olympics and then joined the staff of the Olympic coaching team. Joseph returned to their small town. Solomon thought that Joseph‘s failure proved his own choice not to train was a far superior choice. After all, Joseph‘s work was a waste of time, Solomon thought. Just look how much he had suffered in training and all for nothing. Joseph should have joined Solomon in watching the Olympic video and eating snacks.

But amazing to Solomon was the fact that Joseph continued running every morning. Joseph began to sense that perhaps God had a different idea for him than running in the Olympic games. He began coaching teenagers in the small-town high schools throughout the region with the running techniques that he had learned from the Olympic coach. They formed a running club, not only training but also studying God‘s Word, learning healthy living habits, and praying for each other. Sometimes Miriam sent an Olympic athlete or coach to visit and inspire the kids. When one young man moved to the city, Joseph helped him start a running club there and later a second club in the ghetto. Soon there were many running clubs all over the country teaching kids, not only how to run but also how to live as Christians.

Joseph never fulfilled his dream of running in the Olympics. But he was content and happy that he had fulfilled God‘s better plan instead. Through him, God had begun a work that would help kids learn how to live healthily, stay out of trouble, and come to follow Jesus. Maybe one of them would someday fulfill Joseph‘s earlier dreams by going to the Olympics. Maybe Miriam would be his/her coach. And Solomon? Well, he was still watching Olympic videos and praying for an opportunity to help coach at the Olympics.”

Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home


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