Please take a few moments to hear the short background of Never Settle written by my momma, Mindy Sundquist.
At first glance, April 16, 2006, seemed like a normal Easter Sunday for Higher Calling Church, the church Don and I founded, and for Don. But this one would prove to be different. This one was special because Don was told by very competent doctors that it would be his last. And they were right.
Multiple Myeloma, the blood cancer he had been battling for seven years, was now taking over his body and his strength but not his resolve to preach Easter Sunday and launch the Never Settle series, a message given to him by God. His thin, frail body was an outward sign of what the cancer was doing on the inside. He could barely stand so getting up and delivering a message seemed impossible. But after his leadership team prayed over him he preceded to the stage and as he spoke something supernatural took place. His voice got stronger, he regained his strength to the point that he pushed away the chair that he was speaking from and stood on his own unassisted! Something he hadn’t been able to do for a while. He spoke with authority and power that can only come from God.
Why all the fuss about Easter you might ask? Why was launching this series on Easter so important? Because if you think about it, Easter is the ultimate reason to never settle. Over 2,000 years ago early on an Easter morning, real live people, not people out of a storybook or fairy tale, not people that were imagined in the heart or mind of some writer, but real people came to Jesus’ tomb and they found it empty! Christ didn’t settle for an easy way out but put His trust in God the father’s purpose. Upon his resurrection from the cross, his followers’ lives were forever changed. Paul was one of them and I believe he made a decision in his life never to settle. He said, “I know I have not arrived but there is one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line; to win the prize and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus Christ.” Paul understood that he had messed up; there were things he wasn’t proud of in his life but yet he knew there was still more out there to accomplish, more to do.
Don coined the phrase that Easter morning that now has become the mission of my family, “Never Settle for anything less than God’s best in your life.”
At the close of Don’s message that day he said this, “Today is a sobering thought for me because here is my reality. This will be my last Easter with you unless God, by His power and through His spirit heals my body. My body won’t continue on this way. It won’t function this way. We have believed all the time that God was just waiting for the right moment to heal me. I think that right moment is getting closer and closer. What I am saying to you this morning is, I’ve made a decision never to settle. And whether I live or whether I die, I promise to you, I’m not going to settle.”
Very powerful words from the author of Never Settle. Pastor Don died a little over 3 months after delivering that message but his legacy still lives on today.
With all of us being on “stay at home” orders from the government this Easter Sunday my heart went back to this day. The day our family along with countless others chose to ‘never settle.’ And this morning from your homes you can make the same choice. You may be alone, concerned about your job loss, your health, your family’s safety; so many things flood our thoughts but I have always told my kids, It’s times like these that champions are made! Don’t succumb to fear, anxiety or even boredom. Have you ever thought that maybe God has something important for you to do during this time? Don’t waste it. Not long ago we were all tired and frazzled from leading our hectic lives. I can almost hear God saying, “Be still and know that I am God!” You have been called to a grand purpose in your life. Why not use this time to figure that out and then start pursuing it?! COVID-19 won’t last forever! But the choices you make now for eternity will. Let this Easter Sunday be your time to choose to Never Settle!