And Then Some

May I share with you what I tried to teach my grandson about how to live an abundant, successful life? He was about ready for his final little league game. When his daddy was that age, I never saw him play, I shamefully confess. I always had a Bible study or some such thing. But I decided I would try to help my grandson face the game, and the game of life. I said, "Bryan, do you want to know how to be a winner in every game you play?" He replied, "Yes". Notice that I did not say, "Win every game you play." Nobody wins every game. But I wanted him to know that he could be a winner, even if his team made the lowest score. I said, "Remember, and learn how to practice three little words." Of course he wanted to know what they were. Do you? I told him, "The words are 'And then some.'"

Then I tried to explain to him something of what that means. In the life of every man who is judged great by almost any standard one wants to use, we find the practice of that formula. They did all the things that might normally be expected of them -- and then some.

The principle was taught and exemplified best by the One who always taught and exemplified everything the best way. In Matthew 5:41, He says, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go with him a mile, go with him twain." And He always practiced what He taught!

Find an outstanding eldership. It will be doing all that most elders are expected to do -- and then some. The preachers who are truly great will never get around to doing what everyone expects of them, for that would take at least 175 hours per week, plus the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, the courage of Daniel and the faith of Abraham. But they will be found doing what might reasonably be expected of them -- and then some. Any Christian who truly follows Christ in example and teaching will never be satisfied to do only what all Christians are normally expected to do, such as being present at all the regular services and participating meaningfully in acts of worship. He will find himself doing all that is expected of him -- and then some. One reason is found in Luke 17:10. "And likewise ye, when ye have done all the things that are commanded you, say, 'We are unprofitable servants'."

I do not mean to imply that we should go beyond what we are commanded except in the sense of the Macedonian church in 2 Corinthians 8:3. The key to it is that when a person does what he can, where he is, with what he has, God will enable him to do what he can not, where he is not, with what he does not have, as he did with the lad in John 6, whose 5 loaves and 2 fish fed 5000.

Boys and girls who read this, listen: When you are assigned five math problems, do those five -- and then some. When your coach says, "Do ten pushups", do them -- and then some. Practice this principle in every aspect of life, and I guarantee you will be happy and successful here and for eternity.

The first inning was 8-0 in favor of the other team. I held up three fingers to Bryan. This meant three words -- "and then some". He scored the first run for his team, and then they won the playoff game with the final score of 18-9. It may be that he will remember -- "and then some." Will you?

T. Pierce Brown

Published in The Old Paths Archive