Excerpts from Terry’s Work
Facing the Thing I Fear
As a kid I was bashful and shy, tremendously so. I still am. My wife even has to order pizza or return things to the store. I had a teacher that recognized my problem and said the answer was to groom my leadership skills. Leadership? How do you lead somebody when you can’t even talk to them?
He started treating me as the class leader, even suppressing the natural leaders a little to make it happen. He called on me a lot during class and always made sure whatever I said turned out well. It gave me a little confidence. While I still had trouble in one-on-one situations, I discovered that a group was kind of faceless – I could talk in front of a group.
Grandpa Doesn’t Eat Carrots
The first meal grandma prepared her new husband was a pot roast with a thick brown gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and candied carrots. He was not unkind with his words, but he pushed the latter to the side of the plate and gently said, “I don’t eat carrots.”
“It must have been the way I prepared them,” Grandma thought. She loved carrots. Surely she wasn’t supposed to give them up. She added onions, potatoes, and yes carrots to the next pot roast she prepared. Grandpa pushed them to the side and said, “I don’t eat carrots.”
An Email for Christmas
“This is the worst day since we’ve been over here.”
Sergeant Steve Smith, the squad leader, nodded. He knew the look. “It doesn’t seem much like Christmas when we look out and see sand and Humvees instead of snow and sleighs.”
Both men wore desert camouflage, the uniform of the day in the field in Iraq. Beyond that they had little in common. Mike was a big man with a baby face framed and accented with dark hair and eyebrows. Steve looked older than his twenty-six years, with unruly blonde hair and an ever-present grin that made orders easier to take. His men would charge hell with a bucket of water for him.
When I’ve finished school . . . college . . . get that job . . . win that sweepstakes . . . get married . . . when the kids are grown . . . when the bills are paid . . . when I save enough money . . .
Much of my life has been spent waiting for something to happen, something that’ll make everything easy riding. Sometimes that happens and things do get rosy and bright, but then the next thing I know I’m waiting for something else. I’ve spent a huge amount of my life “on hold.”
I put the Lord in charge of my life a long time ago. I look to Him and try to do what he wants. Well, at least I do it occasionally. There are periods when I get caught up in the business of living, and the next thing I know I’m back on hold again.
It happens when life puts us on our knees and we are so devastated, or so sad, or so grief-stricken that our heads don’t work. We’re fuzzy and disoriented and our every sensation is wrapped in pain. Our chests are tight and there’s a lump in our throats and there are no words to say what we are feeling because our brains won’t or can’t put the words together.
Just Say Yes
When the Lord asks us to do something there are only two answers, yes or no. “Maybe” is no. “Later” is no. “I can’t” or “I’m not qualified” is no. God doesn’t call the qualified, He calls the inadequate and enables them.
A number of years ago I hit what was undoubtedly the lowest point in my life. My father and only sibling dies within a couple of months of each other. I lost my job, wrecked my car, my marriage came apart. I’m not saying every time bad things happen that God is disciplining us, things just happen. But if enough of them happen we have to entertain the thought that God is trying to get our attention.