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A Jawbone Moment

Feeling the need to mark this moment in the life of our family.

I recall a similar moment in 1990 when a critical decision was made to follow my heart and calling, one that put everything at risk!

We were living a comfortable debt free life at last, with our new and larger home on a nice corner lot in a rural subdivision near completion. All this planned for a retirement in eight years at age 50!

My third degree was by then under my belt, a milestone in my plans to impact our current city by way of my community engagement in the field of public education.

We were loving our life view as seen through the lens of blessing!

However, there was a challenge offered me by a young pastor from my hometown, whom I had come to know by way of my bi-vocational denominational engagement at the state and national level.

He, at age forty-one pastored a fast growing church in the denomination and it seemed a natural transition, though not without cost. I would ponder that offer for two years, though I think I made the decision in the parking lot where we first sat and talked in 1988.

The skill set required was there, so we began to process and pray. I soon resigned from my job and my entire professional trajectory changed. We sold the home (a story of its own), took a pay cut and relocated to a much smaller vinyl box in my hometown.

I recall heading up the highway on my first day on the new job just before we relocated, now thirty minutes away versus the four minutes that I had been driving and again for half my salary. The decision was not as reckless as it sounds, as I did qualify for healthcare benefits and a token retirement after 20 years of service.

I was however that day questioning my decision, when God gave me a vision. Yes, I was driving on what is now an interstate, but in my mindseye saw this older gentleman, blind and strapped to the end of a horizontal pole, circling a grist mill, grinding someone else's grain. Shocked as I was witnessing the last few days of Sampson's life.

God's word to me, "do you want this or my will?" I chose to follow.

Now years later, with much more insight into what was happening in those moments, both to further my skill set, provide insights necessary for my future and my faith, I have a different perspective on such "Jawbone moments." (See Ramath-Lehi,

Judges 15:17)

The vision is no longer as harsh, but equally surreal. In fact, I am often carried back to that day on the road whenever the successes that followed, along with the failures that always come, found me grinding someone else's grain, temporarily blinded by life.

This morning as I once more read of Sampson's life, I see that even after his devastating failures he always carried a vision of greater things for himself, and God was always faithful even when his gut and head got in front of his heart!

Somehow this verse stands out: "Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaven."

-Judges 16:22

Read on..."And they called for Sampson out of the prison house..." vs. 16:25.

I have always awaited such a "called out" moment and it now seems my "hair" is growing once more!

Life is always exciting when you live on the edge!

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