With me would you furrow your brow, wrinkle your nose, scrunch together your eyebrows, clench your fist, snarl and say, "Unfair!" Unfair! Some things just aren't fair!
When I was in the fourth grade, I had it made. I was the "teacher's pet." I was the teacher's pet because I did everything necessary to be her favorite. I enjoyed all the privileges indicative of my status of merited favoritism. I dusted the erasers and I took messages to the office, until Dennis Houk moved to Walnut Park Grammar School. Then he quickly became "teacher's pet" and assumed my former status.
It wasn't because Dennis was good. He was as mean as a striped snake. He was always pulling Kay Lester's hair, knocking books out of others' hands, and introduced us to a few "words" he had learned from his older brothers. I don't know why he became Mrs. Wright's favorite. Maybe she liked him better than she did me, or he was more fun-loving, or maybe it was easier to give him something to do to try to keep him out of trouble. But he became teacher's pet. Some things just aren't fair.
When I was fifteen, I had it made. My life was centered around three things: band, baseball, and Janice. I was a member, third chair trombone, of the Emma Sansom High School Rebel Marching Band -- V.F.W. National Champions three years running. I also was the third baseman on the Alabama City Bank Pony League Baseball Team, defending League Champions with a 20-1 record. And there was Janice, a majorette in the band and my girl friend.
Life was good until one day Dad came in and said, "All right, crew, pack it up. We are moving to Boaz, Alabama." I said, "Boaz, Alabama? You've got to be kidding, Dad!" He said, "Well, really it is not Boaz, Alabama. It is Route 5, Boaz, Alabama. It's Sardis, Alabama!" I said, "Daddy, not Sardis! They don't even has a baseball team and their band can't blow their nose. Surely not, Dad! Surely not!" Unfair!
But we moved away. Someone else sat third chair, someone else played third base, and someone else married Janice. Don't you sometimes get tired of the people up there who make decisions that are dropped down on us, and we have to do what they say whether we want to or not? Some things just aren't fair!
From 1973 to 1983, I dreamed about the First Baptist Church of Gardendale. That was the church God was going to give to me! When an opportunity arose, I would drive by and lust after that pastorate. During a youth service in my church, the guest speaker -- unaware of my envious dream -- turned to me and said, "Did you know that the pastor of Gardendale resigned this morning? You know, you would make an excellent pastor for that church. My parents are influential there. I am going to recommend you!"
"Thank you, Lord! My dreams are Your dreams."
Three months later, I gazed into the congregation and, sure enough, there sat the Pastor Selection Committee of the First Baptist Church of Gardendale. I preached a stem-winder of a sermon. I was never better! The music was great, the service was spiritually moving, and additions were added. "Thank you, Lord! It's in the making!"