I once knew a great guy named Bobby Bramlett. Bobby was single, in his early forties, and he was left completely blind following a tragic accident. He was also quite a character. One year our church had a Fall Festival. Bobby wanted to sit in the dunking booth. He sat on the platform above a large container of water and waited for our festival-goers to toss baseballs at the target. When hit, the target would throw a switch and Bobby would fall into the water. In order to prevent disorientation, Bobby tied a thin rope from his waist to the side of the tank. All seemed well till the first dunk. Bobby flailed to the surface gasping and choking! His rope had become tangled round his neck, and disaster seemed imminent. Fortunately, I remembered my trusty pocketknife. With shaking hands I opened it, cut the taut rope, and Bobby was free. I'm glad I had it with me! The knife was a Schrade "Oldtimer."
Since that episode, I've acquired several knives by different makers, but they all have two things in common. First, they must serve a purpose or they are useless. Second, they all have an "edge." I keep them sharp.
After many years in ministry, I realize something: I'm an Old Timer. You may be one, too. And the same two principles of usefulness apply to us if we are going to effectively serve God.
First, we must serve God's Purpose for us. How are you useful to God? We can know His will for us. Here are a few things He wants of us:
- Do all things to His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Bring others to Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Build one another up (Ephesians 4:13)
- Help others in Jesus' name (Matthew 10:42)
Second, God also has special and specific plans for each of us. (Psalm 139:13-16) He wants to use us in His service with our own special gifts, talents, personalities, culture, and relationships. Each day is an adventure of discovery as He reveals His special plans for us as we live through the struggles, challenges, opportunities, joys, and sorrows of our lives.
Finally, we need to keep our edge or we become dull and can't really serve His purpose. We stay sharp by letting His Word sharpen us each day (Hebrews 4:12), by the sharpening of others through genuine relationship (Proverbs 27:17), and by devoting ourselves to prayer and service to Him each day.
Take it from me, it's THE way to live! There's nothing better. No matter what age you are, make it your goal to become an Old Timer in His Service.