Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It was a phone call that was to change my life. It was from my brother-in-law’s brother. We were fringe friends, and he had an idea. We were both seniors in high school and both really didn’t have plans for after graduation. So, he says, “Hey Dewayne. Why don’t we join the Air Force together? They have the buddy plan. We can attend basic training together and go to our first duty station together. We can be buds.” Well, I didn’t have any better ideas and I liked the idea of serving my country and I was always kinda adventurous so, “Why not?” I went down and signed up singing, “Off we go into the wild blue yonder.” We were set. Or not.
After I went down to sign up, I called my brother-in-law’s brother and said, “Have you signed up yet?” Silence. He then told me that he had changed his mind. We were no longer buds. Well, regardless, I was going into the Air Force. That much was decided. What wasn’t decided was what to do in the Air Force. They have this test they give you to decide what best suits your talents and abilities. I took the test. When the recruiter gave me the results he was smiling.
“Well, Dewayne, looks like you are strong in the administrative field.” “What?” I said. “Administration.” he said.
He tried to make it sound really important, but he was really saying I was going to be a secretary. Now this was not cool. My dad was a jet engine mechanic. One brother had served in the Army and I’m not sure what he did but it wasn’t typing. Another brother who joined the Air Force saved the world—or at least that’s what he told me. My other brother joined the Coast Guard—saving lives and stuff. Me? Well, I get to be a secretary.
So anyway, I kept my word and joined the Air Force. I even realized that being a 702X0, (that is the official designation for an administrative specialist), was not too bad. When guys were standing in the rain guarding planes I was in a nice, warm office. There were always a few unkind jokes about 702X0 guys but when those guys wanted their leave papers processed, the joke was on them. Yup, it was totally unexpected but it turned out the Air Force was right. I was in my groove.
Now for the best part of the story. Later I met my wife Judy and we decided to make the Air Force a career. Secretary or not, she thought I was rather dashing even if I did type instead of fly a plane. The days and years went by and then I heard a whisper—the God kind. It said something about pastoring and preaching. I told the Whisperer that I was gonna stay in the Air Force and we could talk later. Another year passed and the Whisperer kept whispering and finally I said, “Yes.” So, after twelve years I left the Air Force and walked from one office…and right into another. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I had been in school for twelve years. I suddenly realized that God had been grooming me for the pastorate all along. Can you imagine if I had done my thing and become a mechanic and then walked into the pastorate where working on jet engines didn’t help you write sermons? Because of God’s sovereignty and wisdom, I left one office where I typed, wrote, researched, supervised, filed and zillion other things and walked right into another where almost all those skills were needed. Can someone say, “Amazing?”
So here I am 40 years into my calling as a pastor sitting at a computer and writing. It all happened because the Whisperer whispered and for once I had the common sense to figure out He was a lot smarter than I was. Proverbs 3:5-6 has been a powerful force in my life, all my life. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” I know from personal experience that is true.
I haven’t always gotten it right. I haven’t always listened to the Whisperer, trusted Him totally or not leaned into my own understanding. But when I did, I have always had better outcomes and fewer regrets. And do you know what? Even in this crazy new world, even in today’s circumstances, He’s still got a plan. This isn’t a world gone mad or to use my favorite word, “crazy.” This is a world under the watchful eye and caring heart of our God. And He is crazy about us. So, go ahead and surrender to Him—rest in Him. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne