There Is Only So Much That You Can Do!

There is only so much that you can do.  But then again, there is only so much that you can do.  The difference between these two identical phrases is found in your perspective.  Either you have a perspective of resignation.  Or you have perspective of animation.  You either sit back and allow what will be, be.  Or you get moving and, in some way, become the change that you desire. 


Now, don’t misunderstand.  This isn’t some positive thought, self-help, the power of you type of blog.  This blog isn’t about what you should do.  For I have vowed to stop shoulding on myself and others.  This blog is an invitation to realize the possibility in your life, right here, right now.  What you do with this invitation, what you do with this possibility, is entirely up to you.


To illustrate what I am talking about let me tell you a story.  There once was a man named Peter, who was a disciple of Jesus.  He lived with Jesus for three years, during his ministry here on earth.  During that time, as with all human beings, Peter got some things right and he also got some things wrong. 


Peter had to learn some very tough lessons.  But the one thing that Peter was always very good at was speaking his mind.  In fact, if you take the time to read about Jesus’ ministry in any of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you will find that Peter speaks up often.      


One of these lessons, that Peter had to learn, occurred right at the end of Jesus’ life.  On the night that Jesus was betrayed and handed over to the religious leaders, he told Peter that he would deny him three times.  That he would, once again, speak his mind. 


To which Peter adamantly declared that even if he had to die, he would never deny Jesus.  Yet, sure enough, following the course of events of that evening, Peter did deny Jesus three times.  Once he realized what Jesus had said to him and what he had actually done, he was devastated. 


This isn’t recorded anywhere in the Bible, but I bet that Peter wasn’t in a good place.  I am sure that he spent the following days beating himself up.  I am sure that, more than once, he declared himself as a lost cause.  I am sure that he wanted to and even momentarily did give up.  I am sure that he resigned himself to the notion that there is only so much that he can do.  And he had done enough.


Yet, the story doesn’t end there.  This is where the possibility of animation, that I spoke of earlier, comes into play.  I am sure that Peter, in his anguish and turmoil, thought to himself, “There is only so much that I can do.”  Yet, this thought, for Peter, wasn’t one of resignation.


Peter stayed with the other disciples.  He didn’t run away.  He didn’t leave town.  He accepted that he had messed up and he knew that there was only so much that he can do.  And the first thing that he can do is stick.


This decision to stick paid off.  For on the third day after his denial of Jesus, the resurrection occurred.  This was then followed by the precious time that Peter got to spend with the risen Jesus.  During those days, Peter was able to walk back his denial of Jesus.  In those days, Peter was able to declare his love for Jesus.  In those days, Peter was able to receive and realize the grace of God and the forgiveness that was his, because of his relationship with Jesus.  Peter’s sticking, the so much that he can do, opened the door to the possibility of a new day.       


That new day came to fruition on Pentecost.  The day the Holy Spirit descended from heaven, like tongues of fire, and rested on all the disciples.  They started speaking in many different languages.  They told everyone who had gathered in Jerusalem, for the Pentecost festival, the good news of Jesus. 


That is when Peter, once again, spoke his mind and preached the sermon of his life.  A sermon that could have only been preached by a person who had made the decision to stick.  A sermon that could have only be preached by a person who had realized that there was only so much that they can do. 



How about you?  Have you resigned yourself to the notion that there is only so much that you can do?  Or are you willing to animate your life, because there is only so much that you can do?