Posts Tagged ‘obstacles’


On my recent ministry trip to Nebraska, I met a man named John. John is a pianist and an extraordinary one. To hear John play piano is truly a gift. This is more than just playing the printed notes, there were fills and arpeggios and a whole bunch of other stuff that probably all have technical terms, which this non-musician does not know. To sing along in worship with him is an experience not to be missed. Now it you’re a little jaded, you might say well that’s nice but there are a lot of good piano players out there and you would be right, but none of them are quite like John.

You see, years ago, John lost a hand in a tragic accident, and not just a hand but his dominant playing hand. For most people that would seem an obstacle that is insurmountable. Most people aren’t John. John has a prosthetic hook replacing his left hand. He places a pencil top eraser on the hook and uses it to tap out the rhythms, while his right hand played everything else. He is not pretty good for a one handed guy, he is simply a great player. Faced with the loss of a hand, what he really faced was a choice. He could give up, (no one would have blamed him for that) or he could adapt and turn the obstacle into an opportunity. He must have been able to tell I wanted to say something but I wasn’t sure how I should phrase what I was thinking, so he said it for me. He said, without a shred of pridefulness, “I used to be good (he still is, and more) but now I’m inspirational.” To that all I can say is “Amen.”

John took an obstacle and turned it into an opportunity, and that’s the thing about creativity. Creativity finds a way where there is no way. When we follow God into turning obstacles into opportunities, we become inspirational and furthermore, we give glory to the one for whom all things are possible.

What are your obstacles and how can you turn them into opportunities?

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I was listening to one of my favorite bands from way back when, Kansas. They did some truly great music and while they were never a Christian band, spirituality was clearly evident in a lot of their music. The song in particular that I listened to was called The Wall. A video of a fairly recent live performance can be found below. Check out the lyrics:
I’m woven in a fantasy
I can’t believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now
Has led me to a wall
And with each passing day
I feel a little more like something dear was lost

It rises now before me
A dark and silent barrier between
All I am, and all that I would ever want be
It’s just a travesty
Towering, marking off the boundaries
My spirit would erase

To pass beyond is what I seek
I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who’ve seen it through
To glimpse the other side
The promised land is waiting
Like a maiden that is soon to be a bride

The moment is a masterpiece
The weight of indecision’s in the air
Standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty
Towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see

Gold and diamonds cast a spell
It’s not for me I know it well
The riches that I seek
Are waiting on the other side
There’s more than I can measure
In the treasures of the love that I can find

And though it’s always been with me
I must tear down the wall and let it be
All I am and all that I was ever meant to be
In harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss

There are walls in all of our lives. Things that stand between us and our dreams. Sometimes they’re imposed by others and sometimes they’re self-iinflicted. I am not talking about healthy boundaries here and I’m certainly not talking laws of men, God or even decency, I’m talking about the things that stop us from being who God created us to be, doing what God create us to do and living the dream God dreamed when He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. That wall is big and imposing, but it’s just a travesty and it needs to be torn down.

What’s your wall?