Most mornings I start my day with a quiet time. Unfortunately, some days life happens and it is later in the day when I get it done. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of my spiritual, mental, and physical health to commune with God. I am not saying any of this to boast. Please do not pat me on the back. You don’t pat someone on the back because they have breathed the air or drank the water. They would be foolish if they did not. And yet, daily I deal with people who do not have a glimpse of who they are and what they possess.
When I was a boy in Alabama in the 50s, I had questions about who I was and my value as a human being. Many of the people living around me had their opinions about who and what I was. Some, as Christians, even said I was less than human. Praise God for my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother. As much as a boy needs a man, I was not fortunate enough to have one. My great-grandfather and my grandfather were dead, and my father was completely absent.
Nevertheless, I was taught to know and love God despite being fatherless, with the help of my great-grandmother. At the age of 5, I went to a revival meeting with her. The preacher said to my great-grandmother, “Sadie, do you know you have a preacher here?” With a big smile she said, “Yes, I gave him to God when he was born.” I remember thinking, “Who does she think she is, giving me to God? I don’t want to be a preacher.” Even as a little boy, rebellion had already seized me.
When I was maybe 3 or 4, my great-grandmother told one of my aunts, “This boy is going to do something great. He’s different.” None of that meant anything to me. Now, I will soon be 67, and I am still looking for that moment when greatness will happen in me and because of me.
But in the meantime, I have been busy cleaning up messes, wiping noses, sometimes rebuking, other times encouraging, calling young people forward. There are no cameras, no accolades, or any great claim to fame or wealth, but as I come close to the finishing line, I think my great-grandmother is chuckling 😊.
To some degree, I have been a minister. I am glad about it. And since I have been ill, I have been greatly honored by the number of adults who used to be young boys and girls, who have made their way to my home to express their love and appreciation.
In closing, it is not so important what I had wanted to do. My desires were mostly about serving myself. I wanted to be rich and famous, and rescue my family from hardships. However, I do not go before the Lord empty handed. Do not underestimate your sacrifice, and don’t let the failure to realize your dreams and aspirations as you hoped, get you down. But be thankful that you did what God put in front of you, because in the end, that is what matters most to Him.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
- James 1:27 (KJV)
This letter is meant to be an encouragement to you. If I have failed in this endeavor, please forgive me. Your life does matter, and in heaven it will be made known to you, what you have done for God’s glory. Until then, we work on.
Continue to pray for the young adults. I am more encouraged than ever before. Thank you for helping me in this ministry. Please pray, and when you can, please give.
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