Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)
TITLE: Ministering In Any Situation
By Joshua Janoski
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The clock hypnotized young Derek as he sat at his desk, spreadsheets and paperwork piled in front of him. There was work to be done, but all he could do was dream. Working in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 company was not his desire. The money was good, but Derek longed for a different occupation.
At age 15, Derek attended a summer youth camp with his church. Derek had first accepted God into his heart at this camp. During this time with God, Derek began to feel the call to become a pastor. Once he finished high school, he talked to his parents about attending Bible College, but his father denied him the money he needed to attend.
Derek’s father didn’t see how being a pastor would pay the bills. Rather than argue, Derek decided to become an accountant like his dad. He went to business school instead of Bible College.
Derek’s dream to preach didn’t leave him though. When he wasn’t crunching numbers, he was thinking about preaching the gospel. He envisioned standing behind a pulpit, preaching to a congregation. He got excited thinking about sharing what God had put on his heart to a large group of people each Sunday. Every day his mind would float off into the clouds, and every day his mind was brought back down by a loud “WHAP!”
That sound was the sound of Pete, one of Derek’s co-workers, smacking him in the back of the head.
“Wake up!” Pete would say in an obnoxious tone as he slapped the back of Derek’s cranium. This happened every day, and annoyed Derek very much.
“It’s time to go home! It’s five o’clock!” Pete said as he grabbed his coat and rushed to the elevator.
“I work with a bunch of idiot monkeys” Derek mumbled to himself as he left work. He decided to go visit his grandfather. His grandmother died several years back, and his grandfather got lonely at times.
Derek arrived at his grandfather’s house, and knocked on the door. His grandfather opened the door and greeted him.
“Derek! So good to see you!” the old man said. “Come on in! Have a seat!”
Derek sat on the couch. His grandfather situated himself in a recliner.
“So how’s work?” Derek’s grandfather inquired.
“It’s good” Derek said with a sigh.
“You don’t sound very believable” his grandfather said with a chuckle.
“You’re right. I can’t fool you. The truth is that I hate my job. I really get annoyed by it. I really wish I could have become a pastor like I feel called to do. Instead, I am wasting away at a job that offers no real fulfillment. I don’t understand it. I thought that God spoke to me and was leading me to preach.”
Derek’s grandfather asked him to hand over a Bible sitting on the coffee table. Derek gave the Bible to his grandfather. The old man turned the pages to Luke 16:10. He handed the book back to Derek and told him to read the verse. Derek read it aloud:
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
After reading the verse, Derek sat silently. His grandfather spoke up….
“Derek, God wants to use you right where you are. You can’t become the preacher of a church if you won’t witness to those who he has put around you right now. There are plenty of ministry opportunities all around you. You just have to look for them. We have to embrace the small responsibilities that God gives us in order to prepare for bigger responsibilities down the road. You have to give thanks for little to be blessed with much.”
Derek returned to work the next day. He thought about the verse and his grandfather’s words. He looked around the office. He saw many opportunities to share the gospel. Pete sat in his cubicle writing. Jill stood at the copier scanning documents. Susan sat at her desk looking sad with tears in her eyes.
Derek pulled up a chair next to Susan and asked her what was wrong. Susan explained that her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she didn’t know how to handle the news. Derek grabbed her hand.
“Let me pray for you” he whispered.
His heart rejoiced. He thanked God for the opportunity to minister right where he was at.
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