My last semester of college was turning out to be one of great turnaround. Known for my past antics and reckless collegian behavior, I had finally matured past fun and found my faith. Truly longing for some part in ministry, I applied for a semester-long internship with the Shenandoah Baptist Church youth program in Columbia, SC. After weeks of anxious waiting, I received a phone call from the senior pastor welcoming me to the program. I was so excited!
Two weeks before I was scheduled to move to SC, my college advisor requested my presence. Apparently, she had made a mistake in my core requirements and the amount of hours I would be obtaining from my internship would no longer meet my graduation requirements. If I still wanted to pursue this opportunity, I would have to return to school for an additional semester and take one more class once my internship was completed.
This was horrible! I couldn’t ask my family to pay for another semester of room and board for just one class. I couldn’t pay tuition for another semester just to complete one more requirement. I couldn’t miss the chance to graduate with my best friends. When it all came down to it, no matter how much I felt that I earned it, I couldn’t go.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” – NIV
Sometimes, there are no explanations. Sometimes, there is no one to blame. Sometimes, we can manage to do everything right, complete every step or justify every cause but, nonetheless, things still go incredibly wrong.
It is so maddening to learn what little power we have in life, yet, it is strangely calming at the same time. Let us not deny it; we all want to be in the seat of power, we thirst for such a thing. We want our decisions to count and our efforts to be significant. We are great with God sitting shotgun, but we will never let Him drive.
Whether we understand it or not, one thing is certain: The intention of God is far more crucial to the outcome than the efforts of man.