Moments that Shaped (Part 3)

vw_beetle.jpgI won’t forget this moment.  I was a sophomore in high school and football season was coming to an end.  I had played football for two years — well, I was on the team.  

One afternoon, I was in the restroom at school.  No one else was there.  Just as I was about to walk out, our head football coach walked in.  I admired and respected him.  He had a way of communicating a real concern for each one of us.  As he walked into the restroom, he asked me if I was going to play football the next year.  He told me that I had a chance to play more.  I told him that I wasn’t going to play.  I explained that I had a job and I was going to buy a car.

I have never forgotten his response.  He said, "You know, you will always have a car for the rest of your life.  You only have one chance to play football."  Of course I did not listen to him.  I quit football, began working more hours, and bought a yellow Volkswagen.  Instead of playing football, I was now making car payments.

Was he right?  Of course.  Later on, I regretted not playing football those last two years.  What I don’t regret is the lesson I learned from Coach Campbell.  He taught me a very important lesson at an impressionable age.  He taught me to have a sense of priority in my life.  I learned from this coach that there really are moments in life that will not be repeated again.  I thought of this moment when our children were small.  I will always be working, but I will only be a father to my children (at home) on one occasion.

I’ve never forgotten this moment — even 38 years later.  It was a moment that shaped.

Can you think of some "moments that shaped" your own life?  Can you think of some moments that have made all the difference to you?

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8 thoughts on “Moments that Shaped (Part 3)

  1. One "moment" that shaped my life involved my high school band director – who thought I was wasting my musical talent to give up music to go into the ministry full time.  Long story short, God honored the decision and blessed me with more music than I could have imagined!I really enjoy your blog, Jim.

  2. Keith,Wow!  What a moment.  God certainly has blessed you and many, many others through you through your music (I am one of those blessed, Keith)Thanks, 

  3. In the turbuletn 60s,  had an African-American English teacher in high school named Camille Taylor. She encouraged my interest in poetry and writing. She also gave me a "reverence" for words. I admired her poise and courage and love for English.

  4. In 7th grade, I had a teacher tell me that I was meant to stay behind the scenes in life. She may have meant well, but what I heard was that I was a freak, too horrible to look at and not worth people’s time. She echoed the words I’d been hearing at home. There was a part of me that hoped they were wrong about me at home, but this teacher’s words seemed to be a confirmation.

    I acted out her curse in my life for a long time until Jesus told me that He didn’t talk to His children that way.

    All the things you’ve written about the power of encouragement here, Jim – TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. Our words can change the course of someone’s life – for better or for worse.

  5. When my son was 2 years old, he and I were walking along a gravel road.  My son was an avid rock collector.  It was fascinating to me to watch him walk along the road, meticulously choosing specific rocks out of the millions on the road, each of them, to me, looking the same as all the others. But to him, each had a uniqueness that only his eyes could see.  It hit me at that moment, that this is the same way that God sees me!  I may be only one of a million seemingly identical people on this earth, but God has dropped down and chosen me as his Beloved for the beauty that only He was able to see.

  6. Michelle,Oh my goodness— your stories of your teacher and at home memories are very sobering.  How sad for a child to deal with such a perception of herself.How wonderful that the Lord has made such a difference in your life and specifically in the way he treats his children.I’m thankful that you read and comment on this blog.  

  7. John, What a special class that must have been.  The rest of us have been blessed by your writing.  Just this past week, I was re-reading a portion of your book.