Perhaps you've been asked the question "How do you eat an elephant?" If you have, you know the answer to a completely impossible task is, like in most cases, the simplest one: one bite at a time. Everything about perserverance stems from that, you will never eat the entire elephant in one big bite. You can't eat the elephant unless you take the first bite. The next most important thing is taking the next bite and repeat that process until you run out of elephant. This morning I saw the equivalent of an elephant being eaten, in fact I would say it was more impressive.
I'd like to share that story with you by asking if I gave you one hour to do one thing that will impact people all over the world, how close do you think you would get? How many people could you reach? You aren't supernatural nor are you a superhero, just an average every day person. Also, let me throw a couple of things at you to make it a little more challenging, while this is something for today, you can't share it on Twitter or Facebook, no social media and your audience won't be able to share it either. We aren't alerting the media so there won't be any television or radio coverage, nothing will be streamed to the internet. You can't even use your phone, no texting or calling, so it's only way of impact is going to be for someone to see you do it. I am going to limit it one last time, I am going to give you a small room with no microphone and exclude your family from being in that room. This impact is going to be limited to the number of people you can squeeze in that room and, by the way, you will probably leave wondering if any of them heard a word you said.
I'd say no more than 2 or 3 for me and that's stretching, given those limitations I would be much closer to zero. I think most of us would be but today I saw an 80 year old gentle soul of a lady whose one hour had impacted people all across the world, in this life and the next by one act. She was honored for that act today. I've known her for over 35 years and today was the first time I ever saw her speak into a microphone. She's my mother-in-law, Daisy Francis, and that one act was teach Sunday School to 4 year olds at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton ... for 60 years in a row.
By pure happenstance, I ended up sitting next to Daisy, or Miss Daisy as her students have always called her, before the service started this morning. The pastor, Brent Taylor, came by and explained what he was going to do and then he let her know he'd help her up the stairs to introduce her to everyone in attendance. I decided then that I would help her get down there. After all she is 80 and a good Baptist so therefore seated in the back row, it was going to be a long trip down the aisle for an octogenarian.
After he asked her to come down and we successfully made our way to the pulpit, I grabbed a seat in the front row, much to the chagrin of the other baptists in my wife's family, and decided I would take a couple of pictures given my vantage point and zeal for posting things like this on FaceBook. Once seated I started taking pictures and video and Dr Taylor asked the audience, if you or your kids have been taught by Miss Daisy, please stand up. I thought this would be a neat picture, so I turned around with the camera and realized I was about the only guy there still sitting. Since both of my kids were standing in the back row, I realized I was doing it wrong and stood up. I was absolutely overwhelmed, all the tears is what I was holding back.
Miss Daisy was then given a gift from the church, she stepped up to the microphone and for the first time that I ever saw, addressed an audience gathered in something larger than a 4 year old Sunday School class. It was amazing. We returned to our seats and after I settled in I began to reflect on what I had just seen and realized that even though it was pretty amazing, not everyone she had impacted was there. I thought what if I gave Dr Taylor a superpower, the ability to make people stand up, wherever they are and he asked that same question. I imagined people in churches all over town, suddenly, standing up. People driving to church would be pulling over and standing up. It had happened for 60 years so people who moved away would be standing all over the country, missionaries in the field and people on the other side of the planet would get out of bed and stand. And in heaven above, a host of friends and guests who crossed paths with Miss Daisy would also stand. They'd stand there thanks to the act of one man on one cross for one day and a woman's determination to share that story over 3,000 times to the children visiting First Baptist Carrollton.
Even when it was too hot or too cold to get out, she did. Even when it was too rainy or icy and nobody would be there, she was. Even when she was too tired from fighting breast cancer, she fought. Even though getting down on her knees was really painful for someone that ended up getting them replaced, she knelt. Even though she just got honored for doing it for the past 60 years, she started year 61. She took her gift down the hall to share it with a group of 4 year olds that had absolutely no idea what they were about to be part of.
So on behalf of everyone impacted by your faithfulness, and just like they all said when they left your class with a smile on their face, a craft in their hand and a gift in their heart, thank you Miss Daisy.