Since 1883, semper fidelis (always faithful) has been the motto of the US Marine Corps. The toy figure Gumby, based on an animated character from a TV show, has been with us since the 1950s.
Leave it to the wry creativity of a frustrated US Marine to bring those two concepts together. Gumby’s rubber body can be twisted and contorted, while the Marine Corps requires a different kind of flexibility—one that endures the rapidly changing orders and “hurry up and wait” culture of military life. Hence: semper Gumby—(always flexible).
A recurrent theme in the Bible is how God chose people and took them well out of their comfort zone in order to accomplish great things. Noah certainly showed flexibility when he received the order to build an ark for a flood that no one but God was predicting. He had to put his own plans on hold to complete this monumental and unprecedented task. We read, “Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).
So much of what Noah did must have been mundane and boring. Think of the materials he had to acquire, let alone the time it took to finish the project! When the deluge finally came (Genesis 7:1-12), Noah endured a year with all those animals and the relentless work of caring for them. After the rain stopped, imagine waiting inside the ark while the waters slowly ebbed (Genesis 8:1-14).
Our situation might bear some similarities to Noah’s. God has given us something to do that demands flexibility, and frankly, we wish He’d go stretch someone else.
Remaining faithful in the mundane things of life may be the greatest service we can give back to God. Who knows how He will use our seemingly small acts of obedience? May He find us faithful and flexible in His power today!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 21:25-38
Read 2 Timothy 3:11-13 and consider Paul’s words to his protégé even as he was on death row in prison.
In what ways do you see God calling you to be more flexible? How do you react to big challenges? What about to the mundane things God has given you to do?