For most of this year, all I have done was to lie around being very sick, almost dying and needing other people, many, many other people to take care of me. I’m confined to the house and using a wheelchair or walker to get around when I’m not in bed. My left arm is almost useless because of a dislocated shoulder, and the torn ligaments in my ankle are taking months to heal. I do exercises every day, but for me there are too many things that I must depend on others to do for me. About all I can do (while balancing my laptop on my chest) is to write a daily blog and keep up with friends on Facebook and on my watch forum. Not exactly what you would call an inspiration or a role model, but it turns out you can be an important influence in this life whatever your current situation happens to be. Professor Stephen Hawking is a good example. He is almost totally dependent on others, yet he still has made and is making an incredible difference to the scientific world. Helen Keller was blind and deaf but almost everyone knows her story and what an inspiration she was to so many people. It seems that it isn’t what handicaps or disabilities you have that matter, it’s what you choose to do with the hand that life dealt you. That turns out to be a little scary if you ask me. If all God has made of you is a hammer, then you know you will be hammering nails—maybe helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. However, if God has made an entire toolbox of you, He has much higher expectations of you. The upshot is that for God, there are no excuses that are valid. You have been given gifts no matter your age, your position in society, your physical circumstances (athletes have certain expectations and people missing limbs still have expectations although different), and what God is asking is that you recognize your gifts and use them for others. Some of us are hammers and some of us are toolboxes or somewhere in-between, but we are all expected to be serving others regardless of how many excuses we may serve up to get us out of working for God. God decides what is useful to His purposes, and it may be that we are to do just a little thing, but without that little thing, the big thing that God wants to happen just won’t happen. In drama they say there are no small roles only small actors—everything is important. That is true in life as well. A smile, a prayer, a word of encouragement may change the world. We are not to know how important we are, but we do know that we are to do what He asks. Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) says, “If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave with every contact with another person.” I wrote a few words and posted four pictures on my watch forum the other day (while balancing my laptop on my stomach in bed) and thought very little of my small contribution to the over 140 posts that day, yet I received this note from one of the folks that read my words and saw my pictures, "Once again, you are my hero for today. You are truly a special person. As once before, you should have a rapid and complete recovery so you can continue your mission with vigor and renewed strength.” This came from someone I have never met who lives on a different continent almost halfway around the world from where I am hobbling through the day. The message was very clear and it was from God. You do your part wherever you are and whatever your circumstances because you are important and what you do and say can change the world for another or for many of God’s children. No excuses. Serve God with gladness and with praise. I got the message. Did you?