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In the fourth century, an Asiatic monk named Telemachus spent most of his life in a remote community of prayer, raising vegetables for the cloister kitchen. Then one day this little monk felt that God wanted him to go to Rome, the capital of the world, and the busiest, wealthiest, biggest city on earth. Telemachus had no idea why God wanted him to go there, and he was absolutely terrified at the thought. But as he prayed, he knew that he was supposed to go. So he went.

When he arrived at the city with a little sack on his back holding everything he owned, Telemachus encountered a huge throng of people moving toward the largest building he had ever seen: a coliseum. What he didn’t know was that the crowd was going to see the gladiator contests. Telemachus joined them, not knowing what was in store and still searching for the purposes of God.

As he took his seat, Telemachus saw the great warriors march into the arena, salute the emperor, and shout, “We who are about to die, salute you!” He soon realized that this huge crowd of people had come to cheer men on to murder one another—human lives for entertainment. As the horror of the moment enveloped him, the little monk jumped up in his seat and shouted, “In the name of Christ, stop!”

The fighting began, of course. No one could hear the voice of the little monk. Telemachus was undaunted. He ran down the stone steps and bounded onto the sandy floor of the arena. The crowd shouted and cheered as the little man in a monk’s robe rand back and forth between the fighters. They assumed he was a part of the entertainment. Almost playfully, a gladiator took his shield and batted little Telemachus away from his legs. The crowd laughed. But Telemachus got up and ran back between the fighters, shouting, “In the name of Christ, stop!” No longer was this seen as amusing. Telemachus was obstructing the games and interfering with the contests. The crowd began to yell, “Run him through! Run him through!” Dutifully, a gladiator took his sword and slashed into the stomach of the little monk. The crowd grew strangely quiet. As he died, lying in his own blood, Telemachus said once more, “In the name of Christ, stop.” This time, everyone heard his words. Then a strange thing occurred. Whether it was the utter shock of his own actions or the conviction of the dead monk’s words, the two gladiators and the crowd focused on the still form on the sandy floor, someone in the top tier of the arena got up and walked out. Another followed. Then another. Soon, all over the arena, people began to leave, until the huge stadium was empty. That was the last gladiatorial contest in the Roman coliseum. Never again did men kill each other for the crowd’s entertainment on those grounds.

Telemachus was used by God to become a maker of history, maximum impact. All great movements of God start this way. When God wants to do something great, He starts with one person, who has an idea, a dream, a vision that has a firestorm of frustration burning within him. God doesn’t care if you are educated or illiterate, black or white, rich or poor, male or female, young or old. All He wants to know is if you are going to open your heart to the brokenness of the world and make yourself fully available to Him. If so, then God will take you in His mighty right hand and use you to change the world.

God Bless!!


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