Don't Just Sit There!
Series: New Year's Day
Hebrews 12:1-3, Philippians 3:12-16
Introduction: Today is the beginning of a brand new year. There is always something exciting about new beginnings. For me it's always been that way. Whether it was the first day of school with a clean tablet on the desk or the first day of work after a period of rest and recreation. New beginnings are important to all of us.
Sandwiched between January 1 and December 31 are twelve exciting, unlived months of opportunities. Challenges brought on by change await us. We will be shoved out of our comfort zones and required to respond. We can do so positively or negatively, with hope and optimism or with resentment and pessimism. If we are not careful we will be so preoccupied with complaining, we will miss our golden moment to grow a little and make some new discoveries.
Now, admittedly, some people do go a little nuts when they finally decide a change is needed. Take the case of Larry Walter. He was a 33 year-old truck driver who had been sitting around doing nothing until boredom got the best of him. It was in the summer of '82 when he decided what he needed was an adventure. So, on July 2 of that year he rigged 42 helium-filled weather balloons to a Sears lawn chair in San Pedro and lifted off. Armed with a pellet gun to shoot out a few balloons should he fly too high, Walters was shocked to reach 16,000 feet rather rapidly. He wasn't the only one. Surprised pilots reported seeing "some guy in a lawn chair floating in the sky" to perplexed air-traffic controllers.
He finally had enough sense to start shooting a few balloons, which allowed him to land safely in Long Beach some 45 minutes later. The bizarre stunt got him a Time ad as well as a guest spot on The Tonight Show. Ultimately, he quit his job to deliver motivational speeches. When asked why he did such a weird thing, Walters usually gave the same answer: "People ask me if I had a death ...
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