Rick leaned forward in earnest. “Will you help me, sir? I’m not sure exactly what I should do, but if you will help me, I want to make this next year my best year ever. I want to…” His voice trailed off in a waver and a tear trickled down his cheek. He swallowed hard. The old man smiled.
By Tim Massengale
The young man sat across the desk from his elderly pastor. His face was burning with embarrassment – it was certainly not one of his finer moments. He stared at his hands, then down at his shoes, then out the window – in fact he wanted to look anywhere other than at the sad, gentle face of his pastor.
He loved his pastor. He had been born into this church. His parents were solid, active members. Week after week he had heard this wonderful man of God teach and preach the Word with strength and boldness. He would do anything for him. He respected and admired him. He felt a lump rise in his throat, which he then tried to clear.
The old pastor broke the silence. “Well, Rick? What’s it going to be?”
Rick was in trouble. He and three of his church friends had jimmied the lock in the church kitchen and helped themselves to the stash of candy in the freezer that was set aside for the bus kids. He hadn’t really thought of it as stealing – at least not until now.
Rick looked up. “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll do whatever I need to do in order to make this right. Please don’t take me out of youth choir. I’ll use my own money and replace all we took, I promise.”
The old man nodded slowly. “What you did was wrong. I think you see that now. But what I want to talk to you about is even more important. Rick, you’re almost eighteen. You will graduate from high school this year. What do you plan to do with your life? Now you just seem to be drifting. I’ve been watching you and I’m concerned that you seem to have no plans or purpose. Have you thought much about your future?”
Rick took a deep breath. “Yes, sir, I have been meaning to talk to you about that. But I’m not sure this is a good time. Once I graduate, I want to go to Bible College if you will let me. I know you have to sign for me to go – and I really want to go. You know how much I love music. I’m thinking I might want to major in Music and oversee the music program at a church like Brother Rollins does for you.”
“That’s a wonderful goal, son. But there’s more to being a music director than just head knowledge and skill. You need to be setting some solid goals for your spiritual life as well – and ministry goals, too. I hired Brother Rollins to oversee our music ministry but he is much more than that. He does hospital visitation. He teaches home Bible studies. He’s involved in our Men’s ministry and as you know, he teaches our Junior High class on Sunday morning. He’s a gifted musician and singer, but he’s also a Christian and a soul winner.”
The old pastor paused and let that sink in. The young man was nodding his head slowly. “So how about you, Rick? Do you have any goals and plans to improve your walk with God this coming year? I’m going to have to see more than just a desire to sing and play keyboards if I’m going to sign your Bible college application. What are your goals and are you making them a part of your daily prayer time with God?”
The young man looked puzzled. “What do you suggest? I guess I haven’t given much thought to it.”
“Well, son, as you may remember, I went to Bible College too. But before I went I was active in many areas of my home church. I helped out in Sunday school – taught the Junior Boys. I rode the Sunday school bus every Sunday morning and went on Saturday bus visitation every weekend. I had taught several home Bible studies and even won a friend from school to the Lord.