Bill Fairbanks: Doing the Hard Thing

bill fairfieldRev. Jana Purkis-Brash challenged the congregation, on Sunday, in her sermon “Fitting In or Becoming Fit.” Taking the spiritual gifts passage from I Corinthians 12, she helped us remember times when we had play the part we didn’t want to play, when we wanted to “fit in.”

“Pressure squashes our particular gifts,” she warned.”To fit in, we hide away what God has given us to be gifts to others. Do the hard things,” she urged. Don’t “put a basket over your light.” Don’t resist the very things that make us uniquely situated to help others and work for good. “We have choices,” said Jana, “to simply fit in or become fit. May God bless us as we choose to do the hard thing.”

She cited how Nancy Brinker pushed uphill to make sense of her sister’s death by cancer. You may not know Nancy, but you will recognize the name of her sister, Susan G. Komen, and the millions of dollars raised in her name to combat breast cancer.

Jana offered an excerpt from Do Hard Things” A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex and Brett Harris, two young men who challenge young Christians:

  • Do things outside your comfort zone
  • Do things that go beyond what is required
  • Do things too big to accomplish alone — organize a team
  • Do things that don’t earn an immediate payoff, but that are the right thing to d
  • Do things that don’t fit in

As if to illustrate, some of us met a couple who are living those rules, going outside their comfort zone, doing something that doesn’t fit in. They joined us at the All Church Picnic. Bill Fairbanks-– a cultural anthropologist from California — is walking across the United States, just “to do it.” He’s gotten as far as Princeton, en route to Boston. His wife, Carol, drops him off in the morning and picks him up at night. They show us that anyone of any age can take up a challenge.

May God bless us as we choose to do the hard thing.

Pictured above, Reggie C speaking with the Fairbanks at the church picnic.