My first letter this year is based on a statement I heard in the last Sunday of last year while I was sitting in Sunday School. I believe serious Bible students are never too old for Sunday School and our teacher is a gifted former pastor who loves Jesus, the Word and people. Dick Triestram mentioned a friend of his who happens to be a chaplain at the Federal Corrections Complex, a tri-security level prison that graces our fair city.
The chaplain, who is super active in real ministry in the higher level prison currently has 22 men who are incarcerated, who profess faith in Christ and who are now enrolled in a special class to learn Koine Greek, the primary language of the New Testament. What is so amazing about this? How can this knowledge possible help anyone to become more effective people in making things great in 2008?
Let's look at one demographic of the Greek Class at the Pen.
One class member is serving 10 years. 21 class members are serving at least one life sentence.
Do you as yet have any idea where this is going?
In the text of this first letter of 2008 I am walking down one of my favorite writing lanes, the path of blooming where you are planted.
As I write this on Tuesday evening the outside temperature is 16 degrees with a wind chill factor of 2 above. I personally think I could better serve the Lord in Orlando, Florida, with a bigger church and a much higher salary, and a few more talented people.
Why would men serving a life sentence or longer study the language used by Jesus and the early disciples? Could it be that lifers in a prison have a better understanding of an overlooked truth than do we who live on the outside of prison walls?
Whether we are offering our meager service to Christ and mankind, in prison, a emerald campus in Florida or a frigid spot in the road in Terre Haute, there really is only one place we can offer said service and that place is always right where we are, with what we have and with whom we have to work with. We must never offer to serve later under better circumstances, for the time for all things is always, forever now.
The man who played the first Sky King on radio, Earl Nightingale, went on to become one of the grandest teachers on success motivation wrote;
"To succeed at any worthwhile project, I will start where I am, with what I have and I will start NOW."
My own well worn phrase has helped me over many years and many tears.
"I am now blooming where the Lord has planted me."
This promise to yourself could make a great difference in your life this year.