Editor’s note: Brother John is on summer break. Enjoy this encore publication of one of his popular Sunday devotions.
3 On the way they were asking each other,
“Who will roll away the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?” ~ Mark 16:3 (NLT)
By Bro. John L. Cash
I read an excellent magazine article this week. It was all about the secret to success, and I think the author has it figured out. First of all, she said we should stop reading articles that promise to give us the secret to success. Everybody already knows the secret to being successful. The problem is that nobody really wants to put it into practice.
According to the writer, the secret to success is to do, and do, and do some more. Do the boring stuff over and over and over. Do something that will bring you closer to your goals, and when you finish that task, do something else that brings you closer to your goals. Repeat the process until you go to bed at night. Get up in the morning and immediately begin doing things again.
I just want to add one thing to this principle; it’s something I’ve noticed in my own life. If you’re missing something you need to be able to do a job, just start doing the job anyway. Nine times out of ten, the thing you need will show up. If you want to pay bills and can’t find your calculator, don’t search the house for it. Just get the bill box and sit down to pay your bills. When you go get a pen out of the drawer, or move the newspaper off of your desk, the calculator will be there. It always works for me.
I’ve abided by this principle for years. And I first noticed it in the Holy Scriptures. Very early on the first Easter Sunday, the women were worried the Lord Jesus had not had a decent burial. (A couple of men had prepared Jesus’ body in a hurry on Friday afternoon. The women had enough experience with men to know that they probably hadn’t done it nicely.) I imagine the ladies stayed up all Saturday night measuring fragrant oils and grinding spices with which to anoint the body of our Lord.
While it was still dark, they started on the way to the tomb. The Bible says the ladies had a discussion while they were on the way: “I wonder who will move the stone for us?”
My goodness, don’t you just love the spirit these women had? They’re planning to show their love for the Lord Jesus Christ who lies in a borrowed tomb. There’s a massive rock, a seal by the Roman government, and Roman soldiers with swords and spears blocking their path. But their attitude was, “Let’s just go. When we get there, something will work out.”
(I’ve got to make a confession here. I’m the kind of person who wants to make sure every traffic light between here and New York is green before I set out on a journey. If it had been me, I would’ve said, “Let’s don’t grind the spices. We’ll never be able to get past the stone anyway.”)
But, as I’ve told you, the principle of beginning a task pays off in this story, too. When the women arrived, there wasn’t anything blocking the way. Somebody had already moved the stone. Maybe it was angel. Or perhaps the Lord himself.
And even though they didn’t get to anoint the body of Jesus (because He is raised from the dead), I believe their hard work paid off. They’re the first to tell the world that Jesus Christ is risen.
So, endeavor to be “successful” for the Lord this week. Plow through the hard stuff. Keep doing the boring stuff. And don’t make excuses that keep you from starting.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where Sonny the yellow tomcat waits for his breakfast each morning.) You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.