Load Your Wagon
Load Your Wagon
By: Danny Wallace
A man is not forged on the mountain – he is made strong in the valley. A man does not reveal the best of himself in success – he reveals the very best of himself in failure. The honor of a man is not witnessed while standing in a crowd of his admirers – a man finds honor in how he treats people amidst the angry cry of his enemies.
Any man can stand tall on the mountain, and bask in the sunlight of success. Likewise, any fool can graciously receive the cheers of his admirers. We all long to stand on life’s mountaintop and breathe in each of these rewards, but these places do not form our hearts, or define our destinies. That can only happen in the valley, lying flat on our faces, as our enemies scream, “Crucify him!”
In these moments we are each faced with one of the most important decision we will ever make. In failure, we can stay on our face and be destroyed, or we can stand and try again. A decision must be made – and only we can make it. To stand up is to succeed.
When our admirers have walked away and we are surrounded by the hate and scorn of our enemies we can get down in the gutter of life and shout louder in retaliation, or we can reveal in these difficult moments the person that we really were when the applause from our admirers required no such response. In these moments we are either a defender unto the god of self, or we are the voice of hope from the heart of our Papa. A decision must be made – and only we can make it.
Hurtful words are like daggers that easily pierce the flesh and move swiftly toward the intended target of our heart. Such words are flung carelessly into the wind with no regard for where they will land, or whom they will hurt. The assailant is always very small in honor, seeking to bring greater men down to their diminished size of heart, hope, and attitude. Such men are to be pitied, and loved above all others – for they have lost the desire to plant the seeds of hope through words of blessing, love, and forgiveness.
Our Papa is looking for a ray of light to illuminate the darkness. He is asking us to forsake defending ourselves and to absolutely abandon the ridiculous idea that He, above all others, needs us as His defender. God is looking for a gentle voice in the wilderness of confusion and chaos. He isn’t asking us to point at evil – “Evil” is well prepared to offer its own, “well-prepared” defense.
God is asking us to step to a supernatural place and release supernatural treasure. The true forging of freedom in our hearts happens in these moments of question when God trusts us to release the answer. It is always an empty wagon that makes the loudest noise. The wagon that is loaded with wisdom moves quiet, and strong.
The chaos of hatred always spreads like a wildfire, gathering more anger and an abundance of judgmental words along its journey of destruction. But fear not, for you and I have the power to make a difference even greater than David made when he chose to face Goliath.
We are the voice of our Papa’s great hope and love for the world. We don’t have to be college educated or connected by great wealth to make a difference in someone’s life. We do not have to possess great favor among those who rule from the seat of religion to have a positive impact on the world. In fact, it is best if we don’t.
God has given us all that we need to set men free from the bondage of sin, and a prison of hatred. He has given us breath, and He has given us extraordinary love through His only Son, Jesus Christ. Lift Jesus high and everything will change, for you first – and then for the world.
Take a deep breath before you speak. Hope travels around the world on a single breath, and on the authority of a single word. There is great hope in Jesus.