As a senior in high school, I decided to join the Navy after graduation. I was not a stellar student. When I describe my academic success to my children, I explain that I made the high school “B” Honor Roll twice by pure accident. As I reflect on my academic career to that point, I would best describe it as: I periodically failed to meet my lofty goal of academic mediocrity.
I excelled in athletics in high school, receiving varsity letters in football and track. I won the conference in the 440-yard dash, held a few track and field records and was the captain of the track team. I guess you could call me an athlete but no one ever confused me with a serious student!
In the spring of my senior year, I attended a youth retreat with my church youth group at the Lake of the Ozarks . We spent the weekend at Windemere, a Southern Baptist church camp. The final evening of the retreat, a missionary spoke to the group. We were sitting near the shoreline of the Lake of Ozarks . Someone had started a large bonfire. We watched the fire and listened to the speaker as he told us, “God has a plan and a purpose for your life.” That was the first time I remember someone saying that God had a plan for my life.
The missionary then said, “Maybe God will tell you tonight what He has planned for your life, what He wants you to do.” If He does, I would like to ask you to come down by the bonfire and tell me.” I listened to the words, waiting only to head back to my room and fool around with my friends. I could have never imagined what would happen next.
The young fellow standing beside me started to make his way past me and head toward the missionary and the bonfire. I grabbed his elbow and asked, “What are you doing? Where are you going?” He responded, “God just told me that I going to be a pastor.” I couldn’t believe it! It seemed so strange, God had a plan for our life and He had told the young man beside me His plan! Talk about weird!
I watched as my friend made his way to the missionary and began to talk to him. Behind me, I heard a voice say, “You’re going to be a physician.” I didn’t pay attention to the voice. I assumed someone behind me was talking about becoming a doctor. I heard the voice again, “You’re going to be a physician.” Curious, I turned and looked to see who was talking…there was nobody there. I thought to myself, this is strange. I heard the voice twice, nobody is there, and there is no way God is talking to me, and absolutely no way that He is going to use me as a physician. God knows, my teachers know, and I know, I am not a student!
As I wondered about the statement, I heard the voice again…”You’re going to be a physician.” Amazed, I knew, God was speaking to me. However, I was also pretty sure He didn’t know what He was talking about! I headed toward the bonfire and told the missionary that God told me that I was going to be a physician.
The human lesson…in life you may believe, you might even be convinced, that you do not have the ability to accomplish much. With faith, hard work, and God’s help, you will. There is an old quote, “With the help of God, I cannot fail. Without God, I cannot succeed.”
The Scriptural lesson: In I Samuel 3:10, Samuel responded to the third call from God by saying, “Speak for thy servant heareth.” I would encourage you to listen for the voice of God…He has a plan for your life! In my life, I have lived the scripture found in I Corinthians, 1:27 “God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.”