In his presentation, Dr. Evans told the following story:
For some time, an old farmer had been plowing with an ox and a mule teamed together; working them pretty hard. The young ox said to the mule, “Let’s play sick today and rest a little while.” But the old mule said, “No, we need to get the work done, for the growing season is short.”
But the ox played sick, and the farmer brought it fresh hay and corn and made the ox comfortable. When the mule came in from plowing, the ox asked how it went in the fields. “We didn’t get as much done,” answered the mule, “but we did a fair stretch.” Then the ox asked, “What did the old man say about me?” “Nothing,” said the mule.
The next day, the ox, thinking it had a good thing going, played sick again. And when the mule returned from the field very tired, the ox asked, “How did it go today?” “All right, I guess,” the mule replied, “but we didn’t get much done.” Then the young ox asked, “What did the old man say about me?” “Nothing to me,” the mule answered, “but he did stop and have a long talk with the butcher.”
Dr. Evan’s point was that Elijah both embraced and fulfilled the calling he had from God. He did not shrink from his God-given responsibility. And it behooves each of us to do the same - to discover and then to take seriously whatever task or tasks God has given us to do.
Each one of us has each been blessed with both talent and responsibility; and we should each see to it that the former fulfills the latter while we are given the chance. As Jesus said in the gospel of John (9:4, KJV): “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
What has God asked of you today? What is He calling upon you to do? Whatever it is, undertake to do it now. For as Solomon admonishes (in Ecclesiastes 9:10, ISV), “Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work … in the next world where you're going”
NOTE: Dr. Tony Evans is founding Pastor of the 9,500 member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. He has authored twenty-one books, and is also a widely-syndicated radio and television speaker. As President of The Urban Alternative Ministry, his radio broadcast, "The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans" can be heard on over 1,000 outlets daily throughout the U.S. and in over 100 countries worldwide.
He has also taught evangelism, homiletics and black church studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he serves on the Board. As if this isn’t enough to keep him busy, Dr. Evans has served as chaplain for both the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. He has held the latter position for over 30 years.
Suffice it to say that Dr. Evans has embraced and pursued his God-given calling! If you want to know more about Dr. Evans and/or his multiple ministries, check out his web page at: http://tonyevans.org/.
(The above story is also available widely online. For instance, see: http://www.inspirationalstories.com/the-ox-and-the-mule/.)