Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

iraq. Photo by U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

Rob McDonald is a retired Hollywood stuntman who appeared in more than 300 films. But he’s better known for something else.

In 2007 he completed building an authentic Viking ship, the Mjollnir (“the Hammer of Thor,” literally, “It Smashes”). The ship was 45 Feet long and weighing 13 tons. He’s already tested his ship several times on the Ij River in the Netherlands and on the North Sea. He plans to sail it across the North Atlantic, from the Netherlands to the southern tip of Florida. Nothing special about that? Consider however that this ship is unlike anything else ever built. This ship is made entirely of 15 million ice cream sticks and fastened together with 2 ½ tons of glue. The millions of ice cream sticks were gathered and donated by more than 5,000 children as part of a project to raise money for a children’s hospital.

Think of it. A sea–worthy vessel weathering the tempestuous storms of the North Atlantic and it is made from nothing but ice creams sticks.

What was Rob McDonald thinking? Doesn’t he understand that ice cream sticks are not “ship material?” They’re too wimpy and small. They’re unfit for anything but children’s crafts. What was the shipbuilder trying to prove? Maybe he was trying to demonstrate that great deeds can be done with little things. Perhaps this is why he recruited 5,000 elementary school children to raise money for a children’s hospital, instead of seeking help from a single wealthy donor.

If you’ve ever noticed, this is also a great theme of the Bible—that God chooses and uses “weak” and “foolish” people to accomplish His will. God takes zeros and makes them heroes. Consider the words of Paul the Apostle.
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:26–30, New Living Translation).

Think of what God said to King David when he was at the zenith of power. “I took you from following the flock to leading my people Israel” (2 Samuel 7:8). In other words, God found David when he was an ineffective leader of sheep and made him the greatest leader of nations in his day.
So if you ever feel that you’re not the material from which heroes and saints are made, remember this. The only available material that God has for making saints is sinners. The only pool of humanity from which God makes heroes is zeros. Why? In order that, when great deeds are done and miracles are performed, God, not people, gets the credit.


Dear Father in heaven, regardless of who I am and what I am, I offer myself to You—to use as You see fit. I realize that Your choice of me may defy human logic. But whatever goodness and greatness is accomplished through me, I will pass on the praise to You. Amen.

In article photo: Filipino boy helps Marines assemble school furniture by U.S. Marines licensed under U.S. Gov Works

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