Since I began writing this column, I have to admit how gratified and humbled I am by the way it has been received. If you do not know by now, I am not an ordained minister and if memory serves, I was quite overwhelmed when I first considered doing this. I have publicly acknowledged that my ability to write is a blessing that I was not using as such. Awards and recognition had kind of become commonplace, but I had not accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. As that dynamic began to happen, I became increasingly aware of my taking for granted many a blessing that I have since understood to actually be an affront to God. Something was not right and I can describe it to you as being “out of balance.” I’m pretty sure many of you have experienced being out of balance in your own lives at some point. For me, this didn’t happen in a flash of light on my road to Damascus, but if I shared with you the journey towards my salvation, you might find them comparably enlightening. My point is that it was a very definite process, and with all the humility I could muster, I began to write this column as a personal point of reference. A blessing, any blessing, should be recognized as such and then used in some way to acknowledge where it came from.
Since that time I have learned that ministry comes in many forms. Being a blessed indeed requires being a blessing. Therefore I understand, more so now, the reaction to these words by many of you as public statements of the fragile and flawed faith of a struggling believer (me). Perfection is an unattainable goal but inextricably worthy of the attempt. Prior to writing this column, I can’t say many people, even those closest to me, ever knew of any faith I might have had because I never allowed anyone even a peek at who I really am. That sounds remarkably silly to me now but, it was who I presented myself to be. Clearly to begin to even privately understand the necessity of public acknowledgement, let alone praise, was and continues to be some might powerful stuff for me. Anyone who is willing to testify, discuss or share spiritual experiences relative to worldly events seem to me to have an open invitation to do so. I am still moved by the number of folk I thought I knew, who have shown me so much more depth and substance resulting from an open invitation sign I must be sporting these days.
To merely say I found my way back to church, or let anybody know I was struggling with faith issues or prayer concerns led to discussions I would never have dreamed possible, because I was one locked up closed up unsaved individual. To say it all happened because I began to write this column would be an understatement. Too much happened to me prior to that. It would be too simplistic to attribute my metamorphosis to just penning a few words to paper. But, to understand the nature of this blessing and having this platform to manifest this gift has been a road very much worth taking. I am humbled by the opportunity and encourage you to also look past that which you might take for granted and see the blessing in it. You may or may not know that what you’re struggling with everyday may in fact be your own personal route to significance in the eyes of God. He is awesome and to use your gifts in His name is also awesome. Some things I know. Some I don’t. But I do know this. Whatever you’re good at was given to you so you could be great at it. I guess that’s my point. Every now and then I just need to say it so I don’t forget it or again take it for granted.
May God bless and keep you always, James