Friday, October 10, 2008

To Score or Not Two Score?

How's this for a "blast from the past"? This was, I believe, the Fall of 1974 when I was an Admissions Counsellor for Harding University. Those who where around back then - you're dating yourself - yes this is the old podium in the old auditorium. Love the leisure suit! Man, I miss those - like I miss the days of no air conditioning - never! This picture is on my desk to remind me that I once was skinny and I once had a lot of hair on top.
This is the oldest picture I know of that depicts me preaching. The reason I share it is because I remembered last night, while attending a funeral, that I preached my first sermon ever in October of 1968. That can't be forty years ago? Unfortunately, my usually suspect mathematical skills are correct this time. Forty years ago? Yes, when Cokes and candy bars where still a dime and movies cost under a dollar to attend. The little church was in Morvan, Georgia, about 45 minutes from Georgia Christian School where I lived in the dorm. My old friend Tony Black had to give me a ride to my first preaching appointment. I was scarred to death. Five minutes into my lesson, a little boy off to my right stood up, looked bug-eyed and pale, and then projectile vomited all over the pew and hard wood floor. I'm sure it was not a commentary on the quality of the preaching he was hearing at the time.
Back then, I still thought I would be a lawyer, or a psychologist, or a soldier. Becoming a preacher for the rest of my life was still something God hadn't revealed to me then. It took a lot of people encouraging me, giving me opportunities to speak, and probably some gracious lying about the undeveloped talent they were witnessing in me.
God has been incredibly good to me. I love how He was worked in my life. I love every blessing and every opportunity to learn - both good and bad. And, forty years later, I have absolutely no regrets about following His lead that took me through many things to place me where I am right now. If I don't get forty more hours, it's okay. It's all been good. Thank you Father!


Deborah said...

Why have I never seen this picture before? You look so much like Jonathan! Um, actually Jonathan looks so much like you!

young wife of an old preacher :) said...

Isn't he cute! Is it any wonder why I married him?? :)