I don’t watch much tv. However, I have found The Men Who Built America currently showing on the History Channel compulsive viewing. Docudramas can often turn out rather hammy, but, to my mind, this one is a bit different.
The third episode of the series picks up the story of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline in 1835, his parents later emigrating to America. At age 12 he took a job with a railway company and in a short time became PA to its president, Tom Scott. Scott became young Carnegie’s mentor
The make or break point in Carnegie’s career came when Scott told him he wanted him to build a bridge across the Mississippi. After years of research and near bankruptcy, Carnegie succeeded.
If Carnegie had never been given such a seemingly impossible task by his friend and mentor, history would have been different and Carnegie’s career would have been different.
We all need friends and mentors who give us a positive “push”. As a Christian leader I sometimes find it frustrating that we have to look to the business world to find examples of “positive pushing”. Why is it that the bridge builders and ground breakers are almost always those who are doing it to get richer? I hope that people who do have that kind of pioneering drive are not being lost to our churches because the challenge level is simply far too low.
If you want a bit of biblical back up for what I am saying, a quick read of Luke 9 and 10, along with, for example, Acts 8, 9,10,13 and 19 should be enough to persuade you that Jesus and His alter ego the Holy Spirit, were continually pushing the disciples into places where they didn’t feel very comfortable. They were the spiritual ground breakers of their day and bridge builders into unfamiliar and sometimes hostile contexts.
It’s good to encourage each other. But we also need to push each other. If you don’t have someone who is giving you a godly push now and again, pray that God will bring someone like that into your life. And why not become a godly pusher yourself, pushing people to believe for what looks like the impossible? After all with God…you know (Mark 10.27).