NOBODY DOES IT BETTER!

by David Sisler

It was 1962 when Sean Connery looked into the camera and said, for the first time, "My name is Bond. James Bond."

Collectively, the Bond films have earned almost $3 billion world-wide, and a fourth film with Pierce Brosnan the best Bond since Sean Connery is on the way. Not bad for a cold war hero who first appeared in print in 1953.

There are several things you can expect from a James Bond movie. There will be an interesting pre-title sequence which has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie. There will be incredible gadgets, world-threatening villains, damsels in distress, and plenty of narrow escapes. And always a catchy theme song.

Many of the James Bond theme songs have hit the top of the pop charts. One of the most popular was the song for the movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. Carley Simon sang, "Nobody Does It Better."

In the world of fictional heroes, spies and super spies, James Bond stands alone. From his first novel, "Casino Royale," to 19 movie appearances, and to a new series of novels by a new author, nobody does it better. But 007 is only real on paper or on film. How many of us are infected with the idea that we alone are the only ones who can handle any given situation? Can anybody do it better?

We are very much like a small boy I observed recently in a supermarket. He was sprawled in the middle of an aisle, struggling with his shoe laces. His embarrassed mother was trying to allow other customers to go by, and, at the same time, trying to tie the lad's shoes. With all of the impudence that only a little fellow can muster, he jerked his foot out of his mother's hands and said, "I can do it by myself!"

I frequently display that attitude and take that tone of voice with my Heavenly Father. Many of us do.

We struggle with our daily problems when the Lord invites us:

"Come to me all who are weary, tired and exhausted with work, burdens or grief, and I will refresh your spirit and give you a calm expectation.

"Pick up my yoke and put it on your shoulders and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.

"For my yoke is tailor-made to fit your shoulders well, and my burden is light and can be carried with the support of my love" (Matthew 11:28-30).

The emphasis on carrying the load is placed upon the willingness of Jesus to do for us what we wrongly insist we can do by ourselves.

We try to work out every situation by our own means when God invites us: "Come boldly, confidently, openly before the throne of grace, that you may take hold of mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

Again the emphasis is placed on our weakness and God's strength and abundant supplies. All the time we scream like disobedient children, "I can do it by myself!"

How many people are like a man I met in West Virginia? Herb was well into his 70's when I first walked into his hospital room. I visited him often, but never at his home. He was confined to a hospital bed. Before I left his room on that first visit I said, "Herb, let's pray together."

"You can pray," he said harshly, "but it won't do no good."

Herb wasn't the first person to tell me that, or something similar, so I inquired as to the reason. The bitterness was gone from his voice as he said, "God won't forgive me." Then he drew a rough, calloused hand across his eyes, wiped back the tears, and rolled toward the wall.

Over the next several months I learned very little about the reasons for Herb's statement. I did learn that a succession of pastors, over many years, had been unable to convince Herb of God's willingness to forgive. His wife told me, "He did something before I met him and he believes God won't forgive him for that wrong." I was never able to reach him.

In an age of self-reliance, Herb demonstrated the greatest tragedy of the "nobody does it better" syndrome. How many people live with guilt and unforgiven sin when God promised, "He who comes to me, I will in no wise cast out."

Are you really certain that you can do it all by yourself? Understanding that God stands ready, waiting only for you to ask for his help, why would you want to continue to carry the load which he promises to carry?

-30-


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