As a 20-yr. old sailor lying in my ‘rack’ aboard ship one night I asked myself, “Three million years from now in heaven what will I value most about the life I lived on earth?” I fully expected to spend my life farming. As I pondered that question I decided that what kind of a husband I had been would be more important than how many pigs I raised; what kind of a father I was would be more important than how productive my crops of hay and grain had been; and what kind of influence I had with neighbors would count more than how well I kept up the fence rows.
I was a very young Christian—had only been walking with the Lord five or six months—but under the influence of the Christian Servicemen’s Home (like a Cadence Hospitality House) in Jacksonville, FL, I had grown enough to realize that it was God’s Word that could most effectively make me into the person I needed to be. I decided that night to go to Bible College – to prepare myself to be a farmer.
That was the right decision even if I had ended up on a farm. However, a growing awareness of God’s heart for others in the world, and of my responsibility to share His Word with them led to a life of ministry to military folk. Through these years I have had great joy and satisfaction teaching God’s Word, but appreciate even more what it has done and continues to do to me. While in Bible College I began praying Psalm 119:74, “May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, because I have put my hope in your Word.”
If ‘what I am is more important than what I do,’ the application of God’s Word to my life must be given continued attention.