try everything

Last week I was in a hotel convention hall around a round table, eating a chicken dinner and wearing a name badge — yes, I was at a conference. This particular night included a time to honor Greg Livingstone.

Back in January of 2008, John Piper posted this on the Desiring God website:

Greg Livingstone is one of my heroes. He founded Frontiers, a mission to Muslims. He is not the president anymore, but he grew that mission into hundreds of people going to the hardest places of the world.

He has himself endured a lot, dealing with health issues in his family and serving in very risky places. Through the mission, he has had to deal with people getting thrown in jail and getting killed. And he has had to handle parents who are upset because their child is going to some crazy place like Iraq or Saudi Arabia because of him.

The reason I invited him this year—though I would have invite him any year—is that he fathered a mission. He fathered a movement. He created Frontiers and shepherded it for 20 years or so.

Livingstone is the kind of person who gets honored by gatherings of mission leaders — and appropriately so.

Of all the things I heard that night, the thing that stuck out to me was a statement quoted by someone from the platform — something Livingstone said about trying everything. It struck me that often the people who accomplish great things are those who just keep at it.  Somehow dogged endurance and an unquenchable hope that there are solutions and pathways and miracles yet to be experienced count for more than mere brilliance.

I used to want to be all sorts of smarter and luckier and prettier and stronger.

Today I long to be increasingly faithful,

flexible,

teachable,

replaceable.