Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 6, 2010

Back Row in the Basement

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Real details are difficult for me to recall.  But emotions of the event seem to always linger.  The details are mostly limited to the back row  . . . and the basement!

It was this way:  I was a junior in high school.  I was not real bad . . . but I was not real good.  I had enough religious conviction to keep me pretty straight on the outside . . . but not enough to cause inward commitment to Christ.

Our church was in a building program.  We were meeting in the basement that would become the fellowship hall.  The pews had been arranged to look like a worship center.  And there I was that Sunday morning!  In  my place!  The back row!

I can’t remember the evangelist, but it was a revival service.  I don’t remember the message . . . or how much I paid attention.  If it was a typical service, I was counting ceiling tiles, day-dreaming about the coming afternoon activities, trying to stay awake, or fantasizing about how I would ask the brunette on the other side of the aisle for a date, or something just as distracting.

I don’t remember the invitation at the end of the sermon, but we had one — it was a Baptist church!  I don’t know if someone pushed me, or if someone pulled me, or if I floated — but there I was standing at the front of the congregation, shaking hands with the pastor!  Could this really be happening?

Can you imagine that?  Me!  Standing before these adults and my peers!  Was I making some decision about my life?  Oh, I didn’t know what was happening.  I was already a member of the church . . . in fact I was faithful in attendance — because of having no choice!  It was a family rule!

What kind of decision was I making?  God knew of my hypocrisy and perhaps He was dealing with me about it.  Or maybe He was calling me to the ministry!  Heaven forbid!

Perhaps I was confessing some big sin . . . or at least a small, understandable, common one.  Maybe I just wanted some answers to life, or could I have just been unhappy, in turmoil, wanting something more from life?  As I said, I don’t remember the facts of that day.  But I remember the emotion and that I did make some kind of spiritual decision.  I can’t say my life totally changed or was transformed from that day forward.  But I do know that there was a need in my life that day.  Even though there would be more sin, discouragement, and looking for direction in my life, I know that God used that Sunday morning to help build and mold my life.

I must never discount such moments in my life.  Even if I do not understand them at the time, I desire to accept the experience as God maneuvering me to the best possible path of daily living.  Events can have profound meaning without immediate interpretation.  Later, a look back can bring understanding.  Today, I desire to be very aware of events that occur — whether from the back row in church or riding down the highway or sitting quietly.  God can continue to mold me.

” . . . Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  (1 Samuel 3:9)  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go . . . .”  (Psalm 32:8)



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