The Pencil Principle

When the space race between America and Russia heated up many years ago, a problem encountered by both parties arose while in space. Of all things it was but a simple writing problem.

What happened was this…both American and Russian astronauts discovered that biros just wouldn’t work in outer space under various conditions. Something was needed to help them write upside down, on any surface, including glass, and in degrees ranging from below freezing cold to over 300 degrees C.

So the Americans spent US12 billion dollars on the problem searching for and creating the answer. What can we say but exclaim: ‘Wow!’

The Russians? They came up with an ordinary common, ‘garden-variety’ El Cheapo answer. A pencil! And it worked!

Keep it simple…God is a big God!
How often do we complicate matters by worrying or getting frustrated when we only have to ask our God and trust that he will bring us great solutions that are so often simple? Admittedly, many times miraculous, but nevertheless simple.

Here’s an example…some time back I was trying to fit a towel rail to the bathroom wall. A very classy towel rail, but to my mind difficult to attach because of what I thought was a tricky method of fitting required by the manufacturers.

With a frustrated edge to my voice, I turned to Maureen. That’s my clever co-minister wife, Maureen, who wears several hats include that of a professional decorator. Or, ‘Grandma’ to our granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane, coupled with ‘And, Poppa, Grandma knows everything!’

‘How can I get these two rails into their holding brackets after I’ve already screwed and allan-keyed those brackets to the wall backing ones?’ I asked. ‘There’s no leeway to manipulate them into position. It seems impossible!’

Instantly Maureen saw the simplicity of the solution. ‘Just put the rails in the holding brackets first, ‘she said. ‘Then simply hold all that against the back brackets while allan-keying those other holding brackets to them.’

Well, I just stared at the wall and then at the brackets. Then I began to smile and laugh at the simplicity of it all. Within moments I had the job done. A seeming complicated job had proved so incredibly easy!

In reality I had asked my wife and then trusted her word completely. And that’s what we have to do with our problems and in asking God.

Comforting revelation
One of the great truths and comforting revelations about our almighty God is that there is no problem or challenge bigger than he is! He has answers for all that we may face or have to decide on. And the power to deliver! He just doesn’t promise stuff, he delivers.

All we have to do is ask him in faith. Then, when we receive an answer whether through his word – the scriptures – or through a prophetic word, or directly to our heart or mind, our next step is to trust him.

Experience proves that when one is trusting our big God it doesn’t matter whatever aspect of life the problem or challenge relates to …spiritual, mind, health, finance, vision, job, family, marriage, the future…! God has the answer and cares enough to reveal it.

We just need to activate three great but simple ’A’ keys…

1. Approach
How we approach the challenges and such determines our course in life and how successful we are in winning through.

Therefore if we’re going to have a great future we firstly need a great and clear vision that our God is indeed well able to help! Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 and be encouraged.

We’ve also got to get above any kind of rubbish that would hold us back. If you don’t dream about overcoming and breaking through – and then make the plans, you won’t have much of a future or success in your breakthrough.

But note something very important – always include others, adding value to their lives. Our dreams should always include living in Christ’s freedom, putting God first, then others.

Dr Albert Schweitzer has said, ‘There are two classes of people in this world…the helpers and the nonhelpers. I’m a helper.’

Helpers are happy people who get the best of life’s kicks through being there for others. In doing so they also win through themselves!

2. Attitude
We must also have a right attitude about ourselves. Let’s stop knocking ourselves. Putting oneself down, having a defeatist attitude about life, self and the future leads to lost or smashed dreams and vision!

You are capable of achieving much in life. Believe in yourself and draw pleasure from what God has you into. Where do you derive the most pleasure? Surely it’s from following Jesus? He had the right attitude to his heavenly Father and others. You too should always have the right attitude towards others, to God and his plans, and to yourself and life itself.

Thank God for the health, strength and time you have. Treat life as a gift and a great adventure; and an opportunity to help others. Build on your strengths; don’t concentrate on the weaknesses or past failings. Determine to be a winner. Have confidence in Jesus!

3. Action
You can get all the theory right; you can plan things, dream big and make hundreds of decisions to do the right thing.

But until you swing into action, it’s all talk. The world is full of ‘gonnas!’ and the problem is that they never become ‘round tuits.’ That is: They’re always going to (gonna) do it one day. But they never get round to it (round tuit).

Now get this: The same God who promises he has great plans for us…plans for prosperity in various aspects of life… also encourages us to call on him for help (Jeremiah 29:14).

Now that’s a good idea! Calling on God in confidence.

Ask friends, spouse and others for help; but above all ask your God! After all, who knows the future better than the one who’s there already? Get his answers…so often simple and easy to follow. You’ll also get his help and strength.

Simple, isn’t it? Yes indeed but…oh we can complicate it all by worrying, wrongly it’s too heavy even for God, not being patience enough, looking at the circumstances or symptoms, or letting doubt and the enemy lie to us. In other words…making it difficult in our minds.

Hey! Remember the pencil principle! And let God come through. We will to!

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