This is my dad, no matter what happened growing up he would always put his ginormous hand on my shoulder and say loudly, “This is great.”
I remember coming home after junior high basketball tryouts with the heartbreaking news that I didn’t make the varsity team but instead was placed on the junior varsity team. When I told my dad his response was “This is great.” I said, “Dad I don’t think you understand.” He said, “Son, this team is going to be looking for a leader, and you are the just the man for the job. This is great.”
After the first day of practice, I realized our team was absolutely horrible, mainly because we were all short and slow, but when I broke the news to my dad, he said, “This is great.” He said, “Son, the other teams will see that your short and they will think that you are fast, but you are really slow and they won’t be ready for your slowness. This is great.”
We proceeded to lose our first two games and didn’t even score a point. My dad’s response was, “This is great. Son, the third time is a charm. Don’t give up. Get out there and get that win. This is great.”
Not only did we lose the third game, but we also lost the next three, as well. We were about to play the last game of the season, and as I was getting out of the car, my father grabbed me and said, “This is great. Son, they had to march around Jericho seven times before the walls fell. It doesn’t matter how you start, it only matters how you finish. Now get out there and win your last game.”
As I got into the car after losing our seventh game of the season, my father looked me straight in the eyes and said, “This is great. Baseball season is right around the corner.”
Not only did my dad give me a false sense of confidence, but he taught me a valuable lesson that I use every day of my life. Everyday we are put in situations where our reaction can either positively or negatively affect not only us, but also the people around us.
The Old Testament story of Joseph absolutely amazes me. You have a guy who was sold by his brothers, falsely accused his boss’ wife and left with a dream in a jail cell. Every step of his life, Joseph had the opportunity to react in a way that you separate him from God, but he chose to align himself with God’s will.
In that choice and in his reactions along the way, his dream came true, and he saved a nation. You see, our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself. If I claim to be a Christian then it is time that I start reacting like one.
Here’s my prayer. God, first of all I thank you for my dad. The lessons he taught me and continues to teach me are beyond measure. I pray that we become a generation that reacts to every situation with your will in mind. That people around us begin to see You through us. I thank you for this walk that we are on because it is great.
John Carey is a husband, father, pastor, waffle eater and avid viewer of The Andy Griffith Show. He’s also the student ministries pastor at Life Assembly Church in Mt. Juliet. Email him at [email protected]. Preacher’s Corner features a new local preacher writing a column each month.