December 10, 2008
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1-2
Twenty-four-year-old Barrington Irving is a pilot. You can spell that word PILOT with capital letters. Barry, you see, is the youngest person to have made a solo flight around the world.
Pretty impressive? Not by half.
According to NBC news, Mr. Irving has done something else even more spectacular. This summer he took 60 Miami-area teenagers into a program called, "Build A Plane."
According to one of the students, their instructions were essentially the following: "Here's some metal. Here's some rivets. Construct a plane."
Barry told them that if they built the plane, he would fly it.
The students, who had been novices to the world of flight, built that plane. And they did it in ten weeks.
And Barry, having said a prayer, flew the plane, which had been named, "Inspiration II." ("Inspiration I" was the plane Mr. Irving had flown around the globe.)
It's a great story, but what's the point? Paul understood the point. Remember what the text for today's devotion says: "We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak... (to) please his neighbor for his good, to build him up."
That's what Barrington Irving did. He built up some young people. Building up is what the Savior always did. Read through Scriptures and you will find Jesus always built up those who needed Him, who came to Him, who trusted Him. He's doing it still.
Earlier this week, we had a devotion about young folks who are -- without any absolute truth or values -- making some bad choices. It was a sad devotion.
On the other hand, if we inspire them it gets better. If the Holy Spirit inspires them, these young folks can be transformed and do some marvelous things. Think about it: if kids from the inner city can build a plane from scratch, what might their enthusiasm and passion do for the work of the Lord?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we are, for a short few years, entrusted with the opportunity to touch the lives of the young. Make us better, wiser, more loving, so they may be inspired by Your suffering, sacrifice, and resurrection. In Your Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries