I just happened to run across the following story that I have used on several occasions in the past. Hopefully it will give you food for thought:
Doing our Duty
In a small fishing village in Holland, a volunteer rescue team was
needed in cases of emergency. One night the winds raged, the clouds burst
and a gale force storm capsized a fishing boat at sea. Stranded and in
trouble, the crew sent out the S.O.S. The captain of the rescue rowboat team
sounded the alarm and the villagers assembled in the town square overlooking
the bay. While the team launched their rowboat and fought their way through
the wild waves, the villagers waited restlessly on the beach, holding
lanterns to light the way back.
An hour later, the rescue boat reappeared through the fog and the
cheering villagers ran to greet them. Falling exhausted on the sand, the
volunteers reported that the rescue boat could not hold any more passengers
and they had to leave one man behind. Even one more passenger would have
surely capsized the rescue boat and all would have been lost.
Frantically, the captain called for another volunteer team to go after
the lone survivor. Sixteen-year-old Hans stepped forward. His mother grabbed
his arm, pleading, “Please don’t go. Your father died in a shipwreck 10
years ago and your older brother, Paul, has been lost at sea for more than a
week. Hans, you are all I have left.”
Hans replied, “Mother, I have to go. What if everyone said, `I can’t
go, let someone else do it?’ Mother, this time I have to do my duty. When
the call for service comes, we all need to take our turn and do our part.”
Hans kissed his mother, joined the team and disappeared into the night.
Another hour passed, which seemed to Hans’ mother like an eternity.
Finally, the rescue boat darted through the fog with Hans standing up in the
bow. Cupping his hands, the captain called, “Did you find the lost man?”
Barely able to contain himself, Hans excitedly yelled back, “Yes, we found
him. Tell my mother it’s my older brother, Paul.”
We never can tell what glorious things might happen when we give God our best effort!