I’m a “third generation” Adventist, from both sides of my family, but of this I cannot be proud. I had nothing to do with it, EXCEPT, having made the choice to rejoin my roots when I left in my youth. I remember having a discussion with my paternal grandfather when I, in admiration, said to him, “Gramps, I cannot wait to be as narrow-minded as you are!” I saw his stunned look and then his body shift into a position of defense. I was about 25 at the time, him dying of cancer, but he having fought as a semi-professional boxer, I doubt I was a match for the old man, quickly justified my remark, “What I mean to say, Gramps, is all my life I have been in and out, like the waves of the ocean, but you have never wavered. You have remain steadfast about your faith, and I can’t wait to be like you.” He smiled, nodded his head, and I knew, then, my temporal life was safe and secured.
Today, I’m about the age of my grandfather, when I began to take note of who the man was. His unshakable bearing, his willingness to stand for what was right despite what others thought or said seem to have been placed upon me. It’s similar to having received the mantle passed down to Elisha from Elijah. It really doesn’t bother me when I reject, as an administrator, some posts which go against the grain of what I’ve been taught or take up the challenge of those who feel slighted because of a decision I have made. When Bobby Stocker invited me to be the administrator of one of his groups, I had no idea of what God was doing with me. I have learned since there needs to be someone at the helm directing and guiding and I’m now at the age, way past the age of accountability, but have credibility due to experience, which I now lend to several groups.
There have been great men I have sat under and have learned: Pastor C.D. Brooks, Elder E.T. Mimms, Elder, C. E. Cleveland, Elder Brogden, Pastor George Sampson, Elder Fulford, Pastor Charles Parker, Elder Maddox, Elder George Bulgin, Pastor-George E. Jackson, Elder Trevor O’Reggio, Pastor Ward, Pastor Foster, the cream of the crop of men who have imparted bits and pieces to me which have combined to form the total “religious” man that I am. Almost sixty years of experience which goes into having the ability to make the difficult decisions for the benefit of those who are now behind me as I was once behind these men. And, it is an awesome responsibility, not to be taken lightly, for souls are at stake and the enemy is not playing, nor should we be when it comes to our soul salvation.
Yes, I will agree, sometimes I don’t like this position as an administrator, leader, pastor, elder, teacher and guide. Sometimes I think I’m not fit, capable or worthy of the role, but when I consider whose shoulders I lean upon, Jesus, and how He is orchestrating all of this and has seen fit to call me to this ministry as well as other facets, I’m honored and grateful for having had a grandfather who was my role-model and showed be how to be steadfast and not waver even during difficult moments.
I guess it could be said, “Gramps, I’ve arrived. I’m just as ‘narrow-minded’ as you now, and I’m glad.”
September 16, 2014