On this date, 45 years ago, I was sitting on a bluff at Kiamichi Baptist Assembly, resisting God’s call to Kingdom service because I was afraid he would call me to pastor a church. A smart spring breeze was blowing through the treetops, and I was meditating on Jesus’ comment about the Spirit moving where he wills.
I noticed a hawk circling above me on the updraft, and I decided this was a good time for a kid to put out a fleece before the Almighty. I informed the Lord that if he would have the hawk land on the rocks next to me, I would surrender to whatever service he had in mind — even pastoring.
I felt more than a little smug when the hawk flew straight away from me, and I started to get up and head back down the mountain. When I glanced down, however, I found a hawk feather on the rock between my legs.
The Lord spoke clearly to me in that moment that because he is God, and I am not, I should be pursuing his Kingdom first and foremost — whatever that meant — rather than trying to build the life I wanted for myself.
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:35 NLT)