Throughout my life I wanted to go to college. When I was younger I wanted to be a doctor. I got mostly As through school up to my senior year in high school. I signed up for most of the advanced classes through middle school and high school. I crammed my high school schedule with college preparation classes.
I remember being in a high school math class and the teacher asked the class what they want to do and be when they finish high school or college. I remember I answered him and told him that I wanted to be a doctor. His response was, “No, you’re not going to be a doctor. You don’t have what it takes to be doctor.” Now he may of been right. I certainly didn’t have the money, nor did my parents. I came from a lower middle class family and my dad worked very hard and long hours in the factory to raise three boys and make sure my Stay At Home mom had what she needed to feed and clothe us. No silver spoons for us, we had plastic spoons and the “K-mart special” dinnerware. I also wasn’t the best at math. It was not my favorite subject. It was english/writing and science. Although I may of not had the financial means, nor the possible mathematic genius to become a doctor, no teacher of young minds should tell a student he or she did not have what it takes to accomplish their dreams and goals. His comment didn’t set well with me at the time.
I remember a decade or so later I was a top performing sales professional and assistant manager of a large retailer and I saw this teacher come into our store. I was going to college part time at night and weekends, married with a new daughter. He did not ask for me in his purchase even though he had seen me. He nodded and I said hello. Now I wanted to tell that teacher, “Hello, I may not be a doctor now, however I probably make twice the money you do…” I was still young and pride kind of set in a times. However, I held my tongue and was polite and courteous to this former teacher of mine.
A decade later I was Vice President in Business Banking for one of the largest banks in the world. I worked very hard to do what I did. I was a quick study and again went to college at night and weekends. At one moment I wanted to go into my old high school and look up that teacher and say, “I may not be a doctor, however I make three times what you do….” As you may see I was filled with a bit of pride still and some what still hurt by what that teacher said when I was a teenager. However, I did not go to the high school, and say anything.
Nearly another decade later after, I lost just about everything. My career, my home, most of my possessions, loved ones, my marriage, and my health greatly declined. I thought I failed at everything and failed everyone in my life. During later in this life altering process; I heard a quiet voice in my heart that said, “I am not done with you, and you are not done, my grace is sufficient. Trust Me.” I had a true non fair weather Christian friend who bugged me, prayed for me, and did not let up until I embraced what he knew our God was trying to teach and tell me.
There were times I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my next meal, let alone housing. Here I was broke, broken, and felt all alone. However I was not. I sought the advice of professionals, true Christians friends, went back to church, and got out of that dark spot of loss, regret, and shame. I began to remember all of the disciples, and members of the Hall of Faith in the book of Hebrews. Common men and women, that did uncommon miraculous things. Very few of these men and women had higher education, nor material wealth. Many were broken, and some had handicaps. All were sinners saved by grace.
I never finished that doctorate degree, nor masters degree. Heck, I have not even finished my bachelors degree. However my God didn’t need those degrees to use me for a higher degree. My God used my experience, my mess and muck, my brokeness, and my Spiritual Gifts to use me. I am now a Psychology major still hoping to finally obtain a doctorate degree. I am being used in my church, in my community, and in the mental health field. I lead ministries in my church, one being a Men’s group that help other men with loss, grief, divorce recovery, mental illness, and addictions. I am now a certified mental illness recovery group leader and facilitator with one of the largest mental health organizations in the United States. I have led men, women, and children to Christ and picked men up from the deepest depressions and loss where they thought there was no hope and thought they were all alone. I am a member of two other Men’s groups fellowshipping with them and walking through this expedition race called life and we lift each other up and support our communities and charitable causes for the cause of Christ. I have attended one missions trip to a third world and plan on another in the fall. I have seen poverty and hunger on a massive scale, yet they sought God, and gave Him praise. I am blessed to have children that are saved. My two youngest love God and let other’s know who is the King of Kings. They are both baptized and the love of Christ shine bright in each of them.
I may not be wealthy, nor a doctor, (yet). However I am rich with priceless things such as love, peace, assurance, true non-fair weather Christian friends, and healthy children that love me and love God. I may not be a doctor, however God uses me to heal hearts and minds. I may not of saved someone on an operating table, however through Christ I have been used to save souls. And to me that is way more valuable than anything else in the world.
It is the same with you, as it was with the disciples and many heroes of the bible. You do not have to have a higher degree to be used for a higher purpose by God. He who spoke the universe in to existence can speak through you. He can use you no matter who you are, where you come from, or where you are at. All you have to say, “Here I am Lord, send me…use me.”