I have a small scar on the end of my left index finger. I was 10 years old and using my Dad’s table saw (without permission of course). I touched the blade while cutting a small piece of wood – and the blood pumped out. I bandaged it quickly and managed to hide it from my parents. Today when I look at that finger I remember – “that left a mark”. Most people talk about leaving a mark- and when they do, It sounds to me like they want to be a difference maker. Maybe it is for their family, a memory of a loved one who has past on or even someone who made a difference in their life. Me, I want to make a difference in peoples lives – I want to help people take their next best step in following Jesus. So let me tell you a story…
. Before I was a Christ follower, I saw only famous or platform people as difference makers. After coming to Christ, I realized that everyone had a shot at making a difference if they reached their “God potential”. So I want to begin this discussion with the obvious greatest difference maker in my life, Jesus Christ.
I did not grow up in a home that followed Christ. In fact, we rarely went to church…you know, we were C&Eers (Christmas and Easter). My religious training up to 16 years old was fairly eclectic: baptized Catholic, parents attended a Presbyterian Church some, but mainly not much of anything.
We moved from outside of DC (Wheaton, MD) to Atlanta, Ga. It was there that I committed my life to Christ through the influence of a home Bible study called The Ellis’. Up to that point, I was running the edge and on the verge of making some huge “life-screwing-up” choices. Jesus Christ began the process of rearranging my priorities.
By my senior year in high school, I had become a serious Christ Follower. God gave me incredible friends and churches to sharpen me. I was amazed at how my focus in life was changing. Up to then, I really didn’t have a focus but, somehow, Jesus was taking over my life. I became very active in sharing my faith and studying the Bible.
Sometime in my senior year, it became obvious to me that God was directing me toward vocational ministry. I must say that most of my family was shocked- no one in my family worked in ministry and they had not seen that in me before. I guess that is because it wasn’t. I still laughingly remember my Mom’s phone call on my 30th birthday. She said, “Hal, I am so excited to see you following God and in full time ministry- I thought by now you would be in prison!”
As I look back over 40 years of following Christ, I am amazed at what God has done and His willingness to use me. You see, I know a lot about me and God knows even more. I am so grateful for the difference he has made and continues to make in my life.
How about you? What is the biggest change in your life since becoming a Christ follower?Leave me a comment…