My friend Melvin had to track down his high school records to start the process for his Social Security. Somehow over the course of a lifetime his name was misspelled on various important documents. For most of his life, other then the occasional mix-up, this didn’t present a big problem. After all, Melvin knew who he was, and as Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.”
And so, on and on Melvin lived his life with an interchanging and ever-changing name. He got married, and his dual-spelled name became and inside joke between he and his lovely wife. If she wanted to rib him, she’d call him “Nelvin” instead of Melvin. He fathered his children and reared them well.
Melvin’s childhood dream was to work at the Goodyear plant, and that dream became a reality as he worked there for close to 40 years. He fancied himself as being the “Hitman,” a nickname he coined during his younger years.
One day, the Hitman was hit by the word of God and he became a Christian. Later on, Melvin became a minister and later still, a pastor. When my family moved back to Gadsden, Melvin was one of the first individuals to greet us. It wasn’t long before we were members of his church. Melvin won us over because he was humble and genuine. His sermons were simple, direct and relevant. I recall that times were little tough for us back then. We needed a good church and a good Christian family, and Melvin’s church was just what the doctor ordered.
We joined Melvin’s church and watched it grow under his leadership. We were there the night Melvin announced that he would be leaving and starting a new church in Anniston. Failing to understand God’s calling and direction, we protested like every other member, but God’s will prevailed as it always should, and Melvin left. He asked my family to help, and we did. I watched him work and watched that church grow, and eventually Melvin turned it over to one of his assistant pastors.
It was only then that I understood what Melvin was doing. He would go into an area that needed a good church and get it started. He ensured its growth while grooming another minister to take over. He never requested or expected a title or honors. Melvin often stated, “There is no title greater than Brother.”
Melvin currently is working on his fourth or fifth church, which brings me back to my introduction. While tracking down his school records, Melvin was feeling a little down. As he was looking over his high school records, Melvin noticed that at the bottom of the page someone had evaluated him.
“Melvin has no leadership skills,” the evaluation stated. After reading that evaluation, Melvin’s frown was turned upside down, because he was able to compare and contrast a lifetime of purpose vs. the judgment of man.
The Bible states, “Don’t call anything that God has made common or unclean.” It also warns us, “Not to despise small beginning. He who begins a good work in you is faithful to complete it.”
It is vital that you realize that you and God are a majority. God doesn’t care if you were born on the wrong side of the tracks, or in a stable. He can take a sheepherder and make him a king, even though no one else sees a king. What is impossible with man is possible with God.