June 10, 2010

Yesterday morning, I was at Joazara in Murfreesboro, talking through some community group plans with a couple of friends from Fellowship Bible over (a HUGE cup of) coffee.   We talked about our aspirations and about the opportunities we wanted to create for our groups to serve.  Opportunities to serve our fellow group families and members, our local community and the world, in general.   Big needs.  Big plans.  Big talk.

Then, a few minutes later, on my way into the office, I heard this voice on the radio:

And then, tonight, when the kids opened up their Happy Meals (don’t you dare judge me),  I heard it again.  Two talking donkeys.  Right there, underneath the apple slices and juice box (sure – I could’ve gotten them the fries, but I opted for the healthy alternative.  I told you, don’t judge).  “He’s everywhere!”, I thought.   Shrek opened in 2001 and Eddie Murphy is still everywhere I look.

Now, suffice it to say, the guy has done a whole, whole lot.  In fact, he’s the highest-grossing film actor in motion picture history and is still one of the highest-paid comedians/actors in all the world.  But, the one thing that’s made him more money than any other gig he’s ever had?  Bein’ a jackass.

Now, granted, he’d slumped.  He’d recently made Bowfinger and Holy Man and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, for Christ’s sake.  But,  Eddie wasn’t starving. So, imagine how easy it would have been for him to have laughed or cursed at his agent and hung up the phone when he called with the opportunity to voice the character of a donkey in an animated film about an ogre.   Something that, on the surface and in black and white, probably seemed to be absolutely beneath him (then again … see aforementioned reference to one  Nash, Pluto … but, I digress).    But, he didn’t turn his nose up at the opportunity.   And as it turns out, the whole Shrek thing has turned out alright for him.  Shrek 2 paid him $10 million.  Shrek 3?  $28.5 million.   And those are just the checks the studio has cut him.  God knows what he’s made on merchandise and talking Happy Meal donkeys.

What exactly does this have to do with my small group and/or the church?  That we shouldn’t turn our noses up at any opportunity to play a role in the kingdom of God.

Because you never know when that role, that part, that opportunity that just doesn’t seem to be worth your time just may turn out to be the one that blesses you in ways you’d never imagine.  While you’re holding out for the ogre, the role of a lifetime – albeit initially even a supporting or seemingly insignificant one – may pass you by.

All that to say … and to put it more plainly … when the opportunity arises (and this won’t be hard for some of you) – be a jackass!



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