Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 6, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Rejection is not a comfortable or happy experience.  No matter the circumstance . . . love, career, friends . . . .  No one can feel good about being rejected.

I will not crack open my life to talk about times of rejection, except for one experience.  It was such a disappointment.  I still remember the moment.  I have a cartoon image of a man sitting behind a desk and using a huge rubber stamp and slapping the application with the word “REJECTED!”

Here is the story.  It was 1956 and I had been in Texas a few months.  I was seeking to get my life on track.  I had returned to college after dropping out in Georgia.  I had wrestled with what to do with my life.  It was during this time that God was really working on me.  In fact, in January of that year I felt God had called me to ministry.  I was not real comfortable with that, and as many expressed, “You are running from God.”

Perhaps I was.  I know that I was uncomfortable even going to church.  I suppose I was really trying to avoid dealing with God’s call on my life.  Then one day . . . I saw a poster.  The poster had to do with the NavCad Program.  It was the Naval Aviation Cadet Program.  That got my attention.  I had always wanted to fly.  This could be a way for me to learn to fly at the expense of the military . . . and it would divert me from dealing with life.  In reality, I was escaping again.

I was fascinated with the possibility of being assigned to an aircraft carrier . . . taking off and landing on that huge deck.  I thought about the thrill of the tailhook — that metal bar at the tail of the plane that would engage a cable across the desk.  Because of the speed of coming in, and the length of the flight deck, the tail hook would grab the cable which would allow the plane to achieve rapid deceleration.  I thought — if I am going to fly — why not the most exciting!  To be at sea on an aircraft carrier . . . the large flight deck . . . what could be more  exciting?

My inquiry into the program revealed the qualifications:  Between age of 19 and 25 — that’s me, age 21!  Single — that was for sure!  Pass written and physical requirements — that was to be seen!  Two of more years of college –got that one behind me!  Obligate to 4 years — sure, why not?

And so in a few days I found myself in Dallas for all those written exams, eye coordination and reflex test, and the physical.  I admit it was difficult, but I did not get weeded out at this point.  Then there came interviews.  The first went well . . . the second was a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist was extremely kind.  He asked me about my background . . . my interest , etc.  Then he asked why I had come to Texas.  I gave him my reasons.  Then he asked why I was at Baylor and what I was studying.  I responded that I was a business major.  He then asked me about my spiritual life.  This seemed unusual for a Naval Officer to ask — especially in the light of today’s culture.  I believe he knew something of the environment at Baylor and that I was probably “very religious.”  (Certain associations can help a reputation!)

Looking back, I feel he was a Christian and saw something in me that I was not facing.  He asked me if I was considering the ministry.  I told him in a generic way about my recent thoughts about ministry.  He concluded by saying that he felt that my future perhaps would be in ministry.

He pointedly said that the military could not invest so much in me when I probably would not stay in the Navy after the four years.

And that is when it happened!  REJECTED!  That was the end of that dream.  I was so disappointed!  I recall it was a long bus ride back to Waco.  I was really down!  Rejection is never comfortable . . .  or a good feeling!

Well, with that dream dead, I just went on back to school.  Grades weren’t good . . . economic classes were defeating me!  Sure enough, God was working in my life.  I realized there would be no peace or real direction until I surrendered to Him.  And that I did a few months later!  Since that day . . . no rejection!

I am glad for the experience of rejection in Dallas!  It was all part of God positioning me to respond to Him!

If you are ever rejected from a possible job, or friends, or other possibilities that you desired, don’t despair or be discouraged or angry — see it as the guidance of God over your life.

Whenever a door closes in your life . . . and you feel you were rejected, even if you know there was no reason . . . wait to see what God is doing in your life.  If God is in charge of your life . . . your disappointment is a step toward the best!

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  (Proverbs 19:21)  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)



1 Comment »

  1. Thanks, Bro. Jolly, for sharing this particular incident today. God’s timing is just so awesome, Betty Barr Lisenby
    ( accidentally erased the rest but my name stayed…this must be all God wants to share for now, Blessings.)

    Comment by Elizabeth Barr Lisenby — August 6, 2012 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

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