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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Next Step

A few years ago in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I read a remarkable story. In the spring of 1978, the New England Whalers of the WHA fired their communications director and radio play-by-play man. He was 45 years old and unemployed.

He decided to look into finding a way to provide coverage of the University of Connecticut basketball games using the more than 12 cable operators located in the state.

As he talked with these operators, they kept mentioning a distribution technology. With time on his hands, he checked into it and found that RCA had a satellite in space for two years and was looking for customers.

He discovered that he could provide UCONN basketball games not only to the state of Conn., but also to the entire U.S. for a cheap price. For that reason, Bill Rasmussen decided to offer 24-hour-a-day programming because it was cheaper to do so than to not.

Because RCA did not demand the rent up front, Rasmussen borrowed $9000 from credit cards and began a network. The network began by broadcasting on a limited basis daily and 24 hours on weekends. One year later, it was broadcasting 24 hours a day. This was how ESPN was born.

We Christians sing a song taken from Psalm 119:


As has been written, the lamp of Psalm 119 was not a flashlight. Rather, it was more like a lantern or a candle. A person could see just enough ahead to take the next step or two, but no farther.

Bill Rasmussen did not begin with a grand vision—“I will be the founder of ESPN!” No, he was initially seeking to fulfill a much more modest goal. A step here, and a step there, and look where it led him!

The apostle Paul was not looking to lay the religious and philosophical foundation for western civilization. He was simply seeking to take the gospel to the Gentiles.  He followed God, step by step.

In reality, our call is not to carry out a grand vision for God. Our call is simply to honor God in this next step. Will we?

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