Vol.XI No.I Pg.2
March 1974

Pray For Jimmy!

Robert F. Turner

Pray for Jimmy Ledbetter! He is a young man of sixteen summers, Senior in Smith County Consolidated High School somewhere in Georgia, Arkansas or Oklahoma. He is going to preach his first sermon this coming Sunday.

Jimmy is a better-than-average student, slight of build, with a sensitive nature and a love for people. His parents are members of the Center Grove church, where Jimmy was baptized two years ago, and where he has been worshiping and taking part in a Training For Service class. He has the idealism of youth, scotched with honest emotions. His dress and, speech are on the mod side, but this is style in a moderately affluent home rather than a sign of rebellion. For Jimmy is a believer!!

He believes in his parents, in his country, and in his God— although he fails to realize it is in this order. He trusts his peers, and almost idolizes the preacher. To the extent of his youthful understanding he truly believes the world is filled with people just waiting to be told how to live for Jesus, and go home to heaven. And tomorrow he will believe his own voice, and the promises he makes in the name of Christ.

Pray for Jimmy Ledbetter!! For he faces empty praise— or silence from those who should encourage him. If he pursues his course he faces pressure to adjust to a professional status. His friends will tell him how to make the most (money) of his talents. His favorite preacher will prove to be something less than the Apostle Paul. He faces the cynic who scorns ideal ism, thinking every good del has a selfish motive. And General Unconcern will lead the opposition.

Pray for Jimmy, for he soon must face himself! As he forms and speaks his own thoughts he will differ with others, and with his own past. He will be surprised, perplexed, proud, and angered by those differences; and he will have to decide what to do about it. Pray for Jimmy Ledbetter, for his world of black and white is about to be shattered by grays. His faith is about to be torn and tested, and its center will swing wildly from teacher to God, to self, to light, to darkness. Pray for Jimmy Ledbetter!!

For a few Jimmys will settle their Faith upon God. A few will accept the divine standard as their ideal, and will convince others to reach for it. A few will believe they can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth, and on these Jimmys hang the future of the church, and the world.