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October 14, 2014

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 October 2014

Just a few weeks remain prior to Election Day. As we already saw from the primaries a few months ago, many of the votes were expected, some were a surprise, and others, of course, awaited the run-offs. In my prayers, following those initial elections and now for Election Day, I continue to ask God to help all those campaigning for office not to forget the people who helped them get to that point in their lives. As it has been occupying my thoughts, please allow me to engage your thinking for a moment regarding this theme.

We cannot succeed without the help of God . . . and others. We need to develop good relationships first with God and then with others. We all have had help. Where did this help originate?  Psalm 121 provides the answer.

Psalm 121

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;

From where shall my help come?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to slip;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel

Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;

The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

6 The sun will not smite you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;

He will keep your soul.

8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in

From this time forth and forever.

Where would we be without the help of the Lord?  Without the goodness of the Lord?  Without the love of the Lord?  Without the faithfulness of the Lord?  I know that I would not be good without the Lord’s help. Scripture tells us that it is only by the grace of God that we have the good times and the good things that we have.

My wife loves “Roots,” and so I have been learning more about him, prior to making the commitment to watch it. In his office, the noted author of “Roots,” Alex Haley, had a painting of a turtle on top of a fence post. When people asked him why he had the painting, he replied that it reminded him of a great truth: “Whenever you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself. He had help.”

Haley would explain that whenever he was tempted to think concerning all the things he had been able to achieve in his life; every time he wrote something significant; every time he would read his own words and think that they were truly wonderful; every time he began to feel proud of himself, he would once again look at the turtle on top of the fence post and remember that he did not get there on his own. Somebody helped him get there.

The fence post may not be very high, but we would never have gotten there if it had not been for God, and perhaps many people. Thank God for investing people in you, and for them investing themselves generously in you. We all have parents, teachers who taught us; people who cared for us when we were little or gave us our first job when we were old enough. There are examples good and bad, and we must recollect and see their fingerprints all over our lives.

In other words, we did not get to the top of the fence post by ourselves. Our basis for thankfulness is to remember the help of God and that He is the Provider of every blessing we have, even the people He brings into our lives. 

Humility is not a weakness, as many try to portray it; it is a powerful strength that can change the world. Good leaders are quick to share the credit for success. Do not be selfish; do not try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others more than yourself. Philippians 2:3 instructs, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves”).

Draw strength — not from popularity or praise — but from humility and service. Imagine a world where selflessness and humility are valued. Humility is strength!  Humility recognizes that, in a sense, we are all turtles sitting on a fence post. Humility is a godly characteristic and one that endears us to others.

My prayer is that we never fail to recognize and receive the help we have received and the help we need. Many of you reading this Capitol Devotional have made me a "turtle on a fence post" for which I am most thankful. We all have personal life stories that remind us as to how much help and support we have had in our lives. We are reminded of the blessings that have come our way through God and people. 

Your missionary to our Capitol community,

Chaplain Ron at Capitol

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Georgia State Minister, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org