The inability to do nothing

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By Dave Henning / August 22, 2014

Mark Batterson begins Chapter 3 (“Charge”) of All In with the story of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, a member of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army.  During the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain and his three hundred soldiers withstood five charges by the Confederate Army.  Down to eighty men, Chamberlain was informed by a lookout that the Confederates were assembling for another attack.  With his men down to one round of ammunition per soldier, Chamberlain ordered his men to . . . charge!  In just five minutes eighty men captured four thousand Confederate soldiers, who’d been caught completely off-guard.

Reflecting on his decision later in life, Colonel Chamberlain said: “I had deep within me the inability to do nothing.  I knew I may die, but I also knew that I would not die with a bullet in my back.”  Historical consensus is that Colonel Chamberlain’s decision saved not only the day, but the war and the Union.  Pastor Batterson notes:

“”In the eyes of God, little things are big things.  And I’ve learned that if we do the little things like they are big things, then God will do big things like they are little things.  That is how the kingdom of God advances.  Going all in means the courage not to look back.”

Today’s question: During your desert, transformational time, what little things have you done for others?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “No test= No testimony”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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