Don’t Settle

The story is told of three military recruiters being invited to a high school assembly for the purpose of communicating the benefits of military life after graduation. The assembly gathered in the gymnasium and all the students took their seats on the wooden bleachers. The principal of the school was emphatic that each of the recruiters only speak to the assembly for 20 minutes so they would all have equal time before the hour-long meeting was over, after which the students would be able to check out their booths if they wanted more specific information on how to join a certain branch.

The recruiter for the Army was up first and he spoke passionately about how great the Army was and why each and every student there should join. His zeal led him to talk for 25 minutes.

Not to be outdone, the Navy representative got up and spoke with great fervor about why the students in attendance should consider joining the Navy. His enthusiasm led to a verbose 30 minutes.

Up last was the recruiter for the Marines, and all that remained of the hour was a measly 5 minutes. The officer stood to his feet and paced in front of the crowd. Nearly four minutes passed as he moved back and forth like a caged lion in tense quietness.

When he finally broke the silence, he said, “In a crowd this size, I doubt that maybe one or two of you are good enough to call yourself a Marine. If those one or two could come see me at my booth afterward, I would appreciate it. Thank you.” Then he sat down.

After the assembly was over, guess whose line was the longest at their booth? Yep, you guessed it—the Marine’s.

See, the truth is that a person responds when the bar is raised in their life. They really do. During my sophomore year of college, a man I deeply respected looked me in the eye and said, “Shelby, you’ve got so much stinking potential…if you would just live up to it.” The implication, of course, was that I could do great things, but was not at the time. His sentence raised the bar in my life and spurred me on toward deeper levels of commitment to my studies, my relationships, and my walk with the Lord.

When was the last time someone raised the bar in your life, and encouraged you to jump for something greater? Has anyone ever done that for you? If not, allow me to be that guy and encourage you not to settle for a life of ease and little amounts of friction. Commit your ways to the glory of Jesus Christ and the advancement of His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). See where He takes you when you’re willing to go, do, say, and give whatever He asks of you.

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