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Do Something Grape...I Mean Great!!!

Some people need to get a life. Or at least a higher purpose for life. For instance, an American man caught 116 grapes in his mouth in three minutes in what he hopes will become a new Guinness World Record, according to a Reuters News Service article (www.feedsfann.com). Steve "the Grape Guy" Spalding, 44, of Dallas, Texas, also set a record for endurance grape catching, using his mouth to catch 1,025 grapes thrown from a distance of 15 feet over half an hour. Also, Spalding successfully caught a grape in his mouth dropped from a height of 900 feet!! No Guinness officials were present at Spalding's attempt at grape-gobbling, carried out in Australia overlooking Sydney's iconic Opera House, on November 16, 2006. But publicist Deanna Brown said observers filmed Spalding's attempt and would be submitting forms to Guinness officials in hopes of creating a new record for speed grape-catching — the most grapes caught in the mouth over 3 minutes. When I first stumbled across this information, I thought it must be a prank. But it's not — this was an actual event! If you don't believe me, just google or yahoo "Steve the Grape-Guy Spalding." One anonymous article about the event added this last sentence to the report: "Meanwhile, reports are that "Watermelon Guy" is still in critical condition in a local hospital!"

I don't mean to make light of The Grape Guy. I have trouble catching one grape thrown from a distance of 2 feet! Turns out the event was being staged to bring attention to the table grape season in Australia. But Spalding's attempt to do something "grape" reminds me we all need a higher purpose in life. I don't know the Grape-Guy, and I don't know what kind of purpose he has beyond the burning desire to hold the record for catching grapes in his mouth. I do know many people set their aim way too low in life and hit their targets with amazing accuracy. Famous English sculptor Henry Moore was asked a fascinating question by literary critic Donald Hall — "Now that you are 80, you must know the secret of life. Moore smiled and answered, "The secret is to have a task, something you do your entire life, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is: it must be something you cannot possibly do." A passage from the Bible expresses a similar idea. In 2 Timothy 1:9 the apostle Paul urged his discouraged young friend Timothy on in the great and challenging work of preaching the word. He tells Timothy that God has saved us and called us with a holy calling; not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (1:9). The greatest purpose for which life can be lived is to live it to and for the glory of God! Albert Einstein said, `Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts." Steve Spalding will be remembered for doing something grape. What he did can be counted. Let me urge you to be remembered for doing something great — live your life for God. The world may not count that, but it will count with God — forever!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ