“You gotta just try to do every thing you can, when it’s your time to do it.”
I was watching Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who is from a small Iowa town not far from me, receive the esteemed Medal of Honor for bravery shown in active duty. Sal had told President Obama that he was just doing his job, and following advice he had gotten when he first became a soldier.
During his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, his Team Leader said to him: “You gotta just try to do everything you can, when it’s your time to do it.”
It struck me as the most profoundly simple statement. And while I’m sure it is essential advice for a battlefield, it also occurred to me it’s advice that works in every circumstance for every person trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
And those of his parents.
I am thinking of Mary, frightened and scared, not knowing what to make of this angel standing before her. But she said yes. She did what she could when it was her time to be asked.
And Joseph. Being asked to marry a woman who was pregnant – and not with his child. He was being asked to sacrifice his life and all he had been taught… and he said yes. He did everything he could when it was his time to be asked.
They did their duty. They traveled for the census to be counted. They continually did the next right thing – not because they were promised riches or status or rewards. They traveled, they suffered in a stable to bring a baby into the world without any idea of how they were going to manage next. But they did everything they could, because it was their time to do it.
I hear the story so many times that I begin to assume they knew what the end result of their sacrifices would be. Sometimes I lull myself into thinking I would have made those sacrifices if it meant the Savior of the world could come to do His work.
But then I remember that Mary and Joseph knew no such thing. They knew no more of their future than we do. They didn’t know Jesus would get lost in a temple. They didn’t know he would turn water into wine and heal the sick and bring sight to the blind. They didn’t know their precious baby boy would be beaten and ridiculed and hung on a cross.
They were simply doing everything they could, when it was their time to do it.
It pierces me. It pierces me to know they simply said yes because it was the right thing to do. It pierces me that I, in this life, have so many chances to say yes. It pierces me that every moment of my life could be my time to do everything I can. I may not change the world, but I might change a life. I might be called with an urging in my spirit, and if I choose not to pay attention and act on it, I might miss my moment.
My time to do what I can.
That’s what I am thinking about this Christmas. I’m always overwhelmed and grateful that Jesus came to this world as a baby to save me – thousands of years later – a simple soul not unlike any other.
But this year, I’m wondering how I can be more like Mary and Joseph. How I can do everything I can… now… when it’s my time to do it.
Will you take that challenge with me? Will you look beyond the celebrations and the wrappings and the carols we hum as we busy about our lives – and pay close attention to the little details in the lives of those around you?
Because you never know when it may be your time to do everything you can.
By Sara Frankl, Gitzen GirlLeave a Comment
THANK YOU!! That was simply powerful!! I pray my eyes will be open to “the little details in the lives of those around me”!! Mighty Christmas!!!
I notice, in my life, it’s the little things people do that change my world even more than the big things. I’m trying to keep my eyes open, too 🙂
This is a beautiful post, Sara, that is challenging my heart in so many ways this morning. Thank you.
Thanks, Amy. Funny how, when I write, I end up challenging myself more than anyone. Glad we both heard what we needed today.
Thank you for writing this, Gitz… I love you and your heart. And I can see it shining beautifully when you write. You ARE, despite unfathomable obstacles, doing everything you can in life. Not a moment wasted. You are an inspiration to me.
You mean the world to me, Mandy girl, and I am always so blessed when I see you around. Love you!
What a wonderful post! Thank you!
Thank you, Harmony!
Holley Gerth says
Gitz, you are living this post. You do everything you can to help, bless, brighten the lives of others and bring delight to God’s heart. Thank you for who you are and for the way your words change us. XOXO
You are so kind and humbling, friend. If anything, I’m learning it from all of you.
What an awesome challenge for not only today….but tomorrow and the next….
I know… it’s about carrying the lesson of Christmas all the way to Easter, isn’t it?
Yes I will take that challenge
So glad to be doing this with you, Jill.
To try to do everything we are called to do when it’s time to do it. Sara, you put it so well that the Sgt., Joseph, and Mary all focused on right where they were, and executed the next, best, step. Thank you.
I will pay close attention to the little things close to home amid this season of big. And I will commit to accomplishing the next, best, step.
It’s amazing how simple the focus really needs to be when we shut out the craziness sometimes…
Living the Balanced Life says
Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. We do need to be ready as we don’t know what He may have in store for us to do!
A recent post of mine speaks if watching out for those around us who are actually hurting during this season and that we should be open to helping them.
Thanks for sharing, Bernice… I’ll take a look…
Amy Sullivan says
I will take the challenge with you to notice the little things, to notice the details.
What a great statement- “You gotta just try to do everything you can, when it’s your time to do it.”
What is the “everything” I can be doing?
I think we tend to look at the big picture so much that we can forget the details… I know I’m guilty of it. I love that we are taking the challenge together 🙂
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Sara, you are glitzening Christ in this post, to bring us in to the season. Right where we are. You inspired me. Right here, as I lean here over the kitchen counter Monday morning with gray skies. Thank you for your heart & your words. Love, Bonnie
Thank you so much, Bonnie. I’m learning the “what I can” part of that statement… no matter how simple or small our worlds can feel, there are such big differences to be had. You make them all the time 🙂
I love this post, Sara! As you noted, it’s easy to believe that Joseph and Mary knew the outcome when in fact they didn’t. They were obedient despite the social norms and the possible personal harm. This is such a good reminder to obey, to simply take the next step, and to do my best when it is my time to do it.
I’m embarrassed how many times I’ve missed opportunities because I thought to much about the implications instead of taking the action. Blows my mind to think of what they did all those years ago, without knowing the reward or consequence.
Natalie at Mommy on Fire says
Absolutely. You better believe I’m in!
I love the enthusiasm! 🙂
Chereyl Osborne says
You are a blessing. I’ve read your writings before and I am amazed at your insight. I pray you have abundant blessings this Christmas. Keep writing and sharing your heart.
You are so kind… me writing would be so empty without people like you reading and sharing my life. I’m very grateful.
I love that we both get to post on the same day sweet Sara 🙂 My first core value for the workplace is “do what you can, when you can.” It’s something I have tried to abide by for my own personal expectations of customer service in my work life… had never thought about bringing that challenge home too… wow 🙂 Thanks Gitz for always helping me see new opportunities in my life to be better and grow more… hugs to you
I love that you live this… and it shows in you, sweet friend. It shows.
Pierced. Such an appropriate word…it describes the feeling so well.
Thanks for this reminder. God…using ordinary people to do extraordinary works among us, and through us, and for us.
I have never really thought of it that way before, that Mary and Joseph didn’t know how it would all turn out. That their future was just as much a mystery to them as ours is to us. Trying to do everything you can in that moment, in that day? Wonderful, beautiful plan. Thanks for sharing this.
I’m just catching up on posts in my googlereader and boy am I glad I did! This post was simply amazing. It is so easy to think that way about everyone in the Bible and not realize that they had to have faith and do what they could just like we do (well just like us but in a totally different world!). And I certainly don’t want to be one to not answer when He calls me and ignore the nudging.
I will take that challenge too!
Weekly Wanderings - Adventures in Life, Love and Librarianship says
[…] Everything You Can –Am I doing everything I can when God asks something of me? Probably not. A reminder of what Mary and Joseph did what they could when God asked. Library Poetry – for all the students and academic librarians out there, you’ll appreciate this. Why Leaders Exist – “Leaders exist to create a shift in reality”. I thought this line and this post was particularly interesting. We could all work a little more on our leadership skills and this is a good place to start. You Are Not Alone – I have shared before about my ongoing battle with depression, so whenever I spot a post about depression from familiar blogger, I jump at the chance to read it. Tamara is one of favorite (if not my favorite) Christian bloggers and reading this guest post she wrote is wonderful. Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies – I watched Giada make these on her show, I thought they sounded so delicious that I had to share them! I’m adding them to my cookie list (which never seems to stop growing). I think they would also be delicious with white chocolate. […]