A wise man once said that there are three types of people in this world: Those that help you, those that hurt you and those who make no difference. Naturally, it would behoove all of us to associate as much as possible with those who help us. And when I say "help" I mean those folks who can motivate and inspire us.
So when I received an e-mail from John "Night Writer" Stewart that my good pal (and John's future son-in law) Ben would be sharing his testimony to a group of young men on Saturday, it wasn't a question that I'd be there. Because most of the audience were from one of the largest residential drug and alcohol programs in the state of Minnesota, Ben's amazing story of overcoming twelve years of alcoholism seemed to be a timely message.
While Ben passionately detailed his past struggles with booze, he also had a wide-reaching message of faith. What I got out of it is that we can diligently plan for our future but then be struck by the biblical truth that God's "thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways." I guess that's something I've always known. But when thinking more about it, I realized how I've done things in the past that I thought was God's plan for my life because I was at peace with it. However, things later got sidetracked because what I was doing wasn't necessarily God's will. At times, believers (myself included) have a tendency to dive into something without diligent prayer. Oftentimes it's because we're afraid of what God may tell us.
To me, Ben is a perfect example of "stepping out of the comfort zone" to fulfill God's will for his life. While Ben thought he would take his time with life after successfully completing his alcohol treatment program, God had other plans. The church where Ben grew up offered to sponsor his education at Seminary. Naturally, Ben was absolutely incredulous. He couldn't figure how a kid who had been an alcoholic for twelve years could possibly dive into such a venture a mere few months after emerging from treatment. But what I got out that aspect of the story was this: God doesn't call the equipped. He equips those whom He calls.
There was also a moment of jocularity during Ben's talk. When talking about how he met John for the first time about four years ago, Ben delved into how that friendship unwittingly led to meeting the woman he will marry on May 23rd. Ben talked about meeting John's family for the first time. "John had this daughter", Ben said. "And a gun", John shouted from the back of the room. Ah, but the evolving of Ben and Faith's relationship is a true testament of doing things God's way.
I have said before that I've gotten more out this humble little site than I have ever put in to it. Just knowing a guy like Ben Worley is not only a blessing but also an inspiration.