A Brief History
When the United States was establishing itself as an up and coming country, war was declared on Great Britain in June 1812. The state of Tennessee played a vital role in the success of this war. More specifically the volunteers.
In 1813, Governor Willis Blount issued a call for 3500 volunteers and Tennesseans enthusiastically responded. This act began a tradition and set them on a course that impacted history.
In the Mexican-American War, President Polk called on the Tennessee volunteers. Governor Aaron Brown issued the proclamation for 2,600 volunteers — 30,000 answered the call. This became an identifying quality of the state and why they are now known as the Volunteer State and the University of Tennessee’s athletic program is the Volunteers.
Some Simple Observations
- There is something courageous and maybe a little crazy when someone looks past the risk and moves into something bigger than one’s self.
- These men were motivated by passion, not safety and comfort. The easy route would be to let someone else handle it. Instead, they said yes to the call which made it easier to say yes to bigger challenges.
- They were warriors who stood on the front line, not out of obligation, but for the greater good. They risked their lives for the freedom of others.
Questions to Ask Ourselves
- What can you say yes to, even if it seems small and insignificant, so God can move you into the extraordinary?
While we remain faithful in the small things, God is preparing us for the epic. I think of David as a simple shepherd and then becoming a giant-slayer and eventually King of Israel.
- Do you need to stop telling yourself why you can’t volunteer and start telling yourself why you can?
We can be great with the excuses… “I don’t have the time.”; “That’s not my thing.” (to sound spiritual, we say it’s not my gift or SHAPE); “That makes me uncomfortable.”
What if we flipped the script and create margins in our life so we have time. Or, we step into roles that stretch us and as a result, become more dependent on God.
- Are you waiting for someone to choose you?
If you are a follower of Jesus, you are living in the truth that God already chose you. Stop waiting and volunteer.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore some ways you can volunteer. Be ready to say yes and lean-in to being a part of something bigger than ourselves.