improvise, adapt, & overcome

armybasic-3One of my favorite quotes is from newspaper columnist Art Buchwald who wrote, “Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.”

There are many implications to be drawn from this quote, but the obvious point is this: rather than complaining about things not being as we would prefer them to be, we need to make the most of what has been entrusted to us. That reminds me of the Marine Corps unofficial mantra which goes like this: “Improvise, Adapt, & Overcome!”

As Christ-followers, we have been called to do that very thing. Although at times the task seems daunting, we have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission that has been assigned to us. That was what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 12:11 when he was teaching us about the abilities the Spirit gives us: “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.” The verb tense in this passage is the present participle, which means the Holy Spirit is continually distributing these “abilities” in the church as they are needed for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom.

I know that sometimes it is easy to be overwhelmed by the circumstances we face in life, but just as the Holy Spirit “was hovering over the waters” in creation (Genesis 1:2), so He is hovering over the confusion that sometimes exists in our lives, and He is providing the creative influence and ability we need to bring God’s order to that confusion. We have not been called to sit around and complain about the way things are, but rather to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in us to identify the needs that exist in our cultures and to have a redemptive impact on those situations.

By the Spirit you can “Improvise, Adapt, & Overcome!”


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