the ad of your life

Sometimes it takes a history lesson to redirect our future.

Ernest Shackleton was one of England’s famous explorers of the frigid Antarctica. His took great risks in life (often to his detriment), but his greatest accomplishment was the preservation of his crew after his ship “Endurance” became frozen in ice and eventually collapsed into frigid water.

Much has been written about how he kept the men alive on ice floes for 497 days before finally setting food on land. Shackleton even gave up his own gloves to a photographer he brought with and consequently suffered extensive frostbite.

What you may not realize is this epic story all started with his epic selection of the Endurance crew. He handpicked some members, including two who had served him faithfully on a previous expedition. To recruit the rest, he posted the following notice:
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer

Shackelton placed this ad in the London newspaper, hoping to assemble a team of willing, able-bodied men who were prepared for the rigors, risks, and hardships of a lengthy and arduous journey to the Antarctic.

What would be your answer to such an opportunity?

As the story goes, thousands of men responded... which means Shackleton had to turn thousands of men away, and at least three women.

On that note, consider the last time you were offered something so epic. Doesn’t it seem like the "ad" life hands you every day (hidden underneath all the banter you hear and headlines you read) is as follows:
People wanted to not offend anyone. The appearance of peace promised (although actual peace withheld). Fake smiles. Everybody minding their own business. Long seasons of neutrality. Consistent loss or consistent morality. Safe relationships without real accountability. Applause for liking things.

- Broken humanity

What would be your answer to such an opportunity?

The truth is you respond to this invitation in how you live, and it feels like most people opt for it by default. Take a look at what you're putting out there in conversation and online... we say we want to have a genuine life, and yet we spend so much time hoping to not cause waves and have people figure out our deepest secrets.

And think about what you want everyone to get along - might that be somewhat about you not wanting to be judged yourself?

Some time ago I heard another “ad” that I responded to with my life. Jesus Christ said it this way:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23)

"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19)

"For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." (Matthew 13:15)

"I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:10)

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Either you just read a bunch of Bible verses, or you heard an invitation that caused your heart to respond.

Admittedly, I didn’t respond to it right away. I thought I had, but really I’d confused looking at Him with following Him. Perhaps you know what I mean.

Everybody says they want to make a difference in the world, yet only a few people want to be different than the world. Perhaps that’s why Shackelton made sure a crewman grabbed a violin so there would be music on the ice floe that would inspire them beyond survival mode.

It's not enough to wake up and get through each day - you have to have something to live for. Let it be the One who offers the only Life that lasts.

Jesus' offer is not limited to 27 people, but for anyone who would receive it. Maybe it’s time you really got on board, too?

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