Vol.XIII No.X Pg.8
December 1976

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

While waiting for a grease job and oil change at a Detroit area service station, I listened to the chatter of the boys at the rack. One fellow was voicing his dreams of advancement and better days ahead, and his friend was skeptical. Others have done it, he replied, and all men have the same opportunity.

That really caught, my ear, for I had not heard such sentiments uttered in many a moon. I said to myself, Brother, that may not be true, but if anyone gets ahead it will be someone like you who believes it is true. We have become so realistic that we have no place for dreams. Our cold calculations tell us it cant be done, so we ignore that restless spark in man that says, I dare you — try it anyhow! Sometimes I think we neither believe in ourselves, nor in the power of the gospel of Christ.

I remember baptizing a young man, who immediately asked what he could do to serve the Lord. Not having the heart to squelch his enthusiasm, I told him he could teach his neighbor. But I dont know anything to teach, he objected. I gave him the stock answer: You know what you have done — just tell him about that. A few days later he called to say he had told his neighbor all he had done, and the neighbor wanted to know where the Bible taught such things. A bit incredulous, I helped him locate some key passages, and gave him a few pointers on presentation. Within two weeks he brought the neighbor in to be baptized; and now both men wanted to know where and how to pitch the next effort for the Lord. Things like this can get out of hand, so that the preacher has no time for golf or fishing. It is also embarrassing to the church member on the other side of the neighbor, who had never made an effort to spread the good news. I was tempted to tell the new converts to work on their lazy brother, but I didnt want to discourage then so early in the game. May God forgive us!

All have the same opportunity? Well, all have twenty-four hours per day, contacts that have as little or less learning than we, influence commensurate with our efforts, and a conscience that urges us on, even if we have tried to ignore it.

We accomplish things only when we roll up our sleeves and try. Thats all a mule can do — once you have gotten his attention.