I had always heard the preacher's stories. You know, the ones where the star athlete makes his priority sports instead of Christ, and God takes his ability to play away through some injury. And as I listened to those stories, I always wondered what happened to the smart people? Can God take away intelligence?
The class was college physics with calculus applications. It was mainly designed for engineering majors but I was in it for the physics. In this class was a student; an utterly arrogant student. The problem was, he really WAS smart which made it even worse.
He enjoyed understanding things more quickly than most of his fellow students, and he made sure he reminded them of his intelligence as often as he could. It was one of the crudest displays of pride I have ever seen. But one day....it stopped.
It was one of the most remarkable events I have ever witnessed. He LOST his ability to understand. It simply was GONE! He just didn't seem to have the capacity to grasp highly complex concepts like he used to, and seemingly not at all! He was understandably frustrated and upset. He lashed out, blaming teachers and fellow students. He eventually dropped out, and I have no idea what happened to him.
But that's not why I tell this story. I tell this story because of the effect it had on me. I realized I had never given my analytic ability over to God. I hadn't ever used it wrongly, nor tried to belittle others, but I had never truly given it up.
And honestly, I didn't want to. Surely God understood. This is all I had to offer Him. This is the only ability that counted for anything. I couldn't play sports, I wasn't real popular, I couldn't speak to millions, I had no money; the only thing I had, the one thing of value, the only thing that I could give 'to the cause', was my ability to think. That's it. Without it, I was nothing.
I enjoyed my ability to think. To play with concepts in my head. Why would God want to take that from me? What could my purpose possibly be without it?
But over and again, that still small idea came back. "But you haven't given it over. And what you haven't given over is still yours, not Mine."
It was hard...very hard...most likely one of the hardest things I've ever done. I cried tears; many, many tears. But in the end, this is what I decided:
I'd rather have Him than my ability. I didn't know what I could possibly do to help others, or to help Christianity, without it, but if He took it from me, I would be satisfied. It didn't matter, because I would have Him. Without my one talent I would be talent-less and useless, but if that was my place in the universe, if that was what I was designed to be, if I was to be the one who people looked at and said 'at least I have more ability than him!', if my place was to be last, so that others wouldn't have to be last, then so be it. This is what I would be. I would not deny God's plan for me, even if that plan took everything I had, and left me encouraging people only though the lowness of who I was, then I would do that, and I would settle for nothing else.
I think this may have been one of the most important decisions I ever made.
I don't like to tell this story, mainly because it sounds so arrogant in my ears. 'Look at the decision I made'. I hope this hasn't come across that way. Because it isn't me. It is all Him.