Recently I read the disgusting details of the man who sat in a chair in his home for two whole years. His skin had become fused to the fabric due to his prolonged time in the chair. He was morbidly obese, and after being found “unresponsive” by his roommates, was taken to the hospital. EMT workers actually cut a hole in the wall to get him out of the home.
THIS IS AN EXTREME EXAMPLE, I would admit, but the principle behind the story remains the same. If you just sit around, you are going to die!
The Bible says in Second Kings chapter seven, And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die (verses 3-4).
This biblical account tells the story of a severe famine in the land of Samaria. Extreme amounts of money were being spent on what would otherwise be considered disgusting fare. God said, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria (7:1). In other words, business would resume as normal on the next day. As it so happened, four lepers were sitting at the gates of one of the Syrian camps. They knew they were going to die. If they sat there, they would eventually starve to death; if they entered the camp and the Syrians drove them out, they might die. Simply put, they said to themselves, “WHETHER TODAY OR TOMORROW OR YEARS FROM NOW, WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!”
We live in a day and time of such great consequence. The world is spiritually starving, and many are in need. If we sit here, we are going to die. If we labor and work, we, too, are going to die. The lepers came to realize after they found the Syrian camp empty that judgment from God would fall upon them if they were not to share the food they had found with those of Samaria. Instead of sitting around, they decided to serve!
One day Larry Walters had an idea. He decided to fly. He went to the local Army-Navy surplus store and purchased 45 weatherballoons and several tanks of helium. The weather balloons, when fully inflated, would measure more than four feet across. Back home, Larry securely strapped the balloons to his sturdy lawn chair. He anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep and inflated the balloons with the helium. He climbed on for a test while it was still only a few feet above the ground. Satisfied it would work, Larry packed several sandwiches, loaded his pellet gun-figuring he could pop a few balloons when it was time to descend-and went back to the floating lawn chair. He tied himself in along with his pellet gun and provisions. Larry’s plan was to lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard after severing the anchor and in a few hours come back down. Things didn’t quite work out that way. When he cut the cord anchoring the lawn chair to his jeep, he didn’t float lazily up to 30 or so feet. Instead he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon.
He didn’t level of at 30 feet, nor did he level off at 100 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 11,000 feet. At that height he couldn’t risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting, cold and frightened, for more than 14 hours. Then he really got in trouble. He found himself drifting into the primary approach corridor of Los Angeles International Airport. A United pilot first spotted Larry. He radioed the tower and described passing a guy in a lawn chair with a gun. Radar confirmed the existence of an object floating 11,000 feet above the airport. LAX emergency procedures swung into full alert and a helicopter was dispatched to investigate. LAX is right on the ocean. Night was falling and the offshore breeze began to flow. It carried Larry out to sea with the helicopter in hot pursuit. Several miles out, the helicopter caught up with Larry. Once the crew determined that Larry was not dangerous, they attempted to close in for a rescue but the draft from the blades would push Larry away whenever they neared. Finally, the helicopter ascended to a position several hundred feet above Larry and lowered a rescue line. Larry snagged the line and was hauled back to shore. The difficult maneuver was flawlessly executed by the helicopter crew. As soon as Larry was hauled to earth, he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD for violating LAX airspace. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked why he had done it. Larry stopped, turned and replied nonchalantly, “A man can’t just sit around.”