Several months after graduating from High School and still living at home, I had my eureka moment! I realized who I was, where I was, and why I was there. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. I had no career path, I couldn’t see any chance of promotion in emptying out railroad boxcars full of grain into a grain elevator out in New Mexico, and breathing in dust all day. Every job I applied for they would ask me what my military draft status was. When I told them 1-A (Available for Military Service), they said it would be a waste of time for them to train me because I could be called into the military any day. So I decided to immediately do something about it. I went down to the recruiting station and joined the US Army. That decision changed the whole course of my life and ended up making me what I am today.
But along the way, I learned a very valuable truth. It was much like what Oklahoma born cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator Will Rogers (1879-1935) once said: “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple: Know what you’re doing. Love what you’re doing. And believe in what you’re doing.” For me, that same principle developed into my personal motto that went like this: To serve God to the fullest, I must understand what I am doing. Know why I am doing it. And love what I am doing.
There are several things that I kept track of to help me go forward and swim against the tide of what was considered ordinary and common. I had to find a way to stay focused instead of always struggling to keep my mind on what I was doing. I tried to learn from what successful people had done instead of just talking about it. If I didn’t enjoy what I had to do, I tried to find a way to make it more enjoyable. I never let myself begin to think of what I was doing as a way of surviving, but of growing and getting stronger. This, in turn, made me excited about what I was doing. I seldom watched the clock, I was more interested in my progress. I threw away the idea of attempting to be a success. Instead, I begin striving to be significant. Instead of using the phrase “that’s a problem,” I started saying, “that’s a challenge.” And finally, I kept my eye on the big picture and how what I was doing now fit into the future plans God had for my life.
In one of his Proverbs, King Solomon noted that the person who is satisfied with what they already know is being foolish, but the person who is always seeking to know more will be delivered from such dull thinking.1 And the Apostle Paul told his young convert, Timothy, that when God called him to be his messenger, He didn’t fill him with the fear of not being up to the task, but filled him with confidence to do what he was being sent out to do, to love what he had been called to do, and take control of what he needed to do in order to be faithful to is calling.2
The prophet Isaiah certainly was faced with difficulties in the mission he had received from God. But this is what the Lord told him, “Don’t be afraid, I will always be with you; don’t be reluctant, I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will assist you, and I will help you with My own hand to always do the right thing.”3 One of the greatest compliments I ever received from a fellow minister after a sermon he heard me preach was this: “You really seemed to know what you were talking about, and you were convinced that it was right.” My response to him was that I could never feel that way unless I knew the One who sent me, understood why He sent me, and believed in what He inspired me to say. – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 Proverbs 28:26
2 2 Timothy 1:7
3 Isaiah 41:10