His son knew that if God called him, God would give him strength to accomplish the task.
|Be All You Can Be – And Then Some!
By Marilyn Mackenzie
When I worked as a regional director for a national home party sales company, I met a wonderful man named Jeff. Jeff worked in our home office. I'm not sure what his title was or all that his position entailed, but I do know he was one of the best motivational speakers I'd heard in a long time. One of his stories touched me back then, and it’s a story I remember again and again.
Jeff’s son stuttered profusely. His family understood all that he said. We get used to the way our family members talk. And, often one who stutters in the public’s eye can speak without a stutter around familiar people. That wasn't always the case with Jeff’s son. He stuttered quite a bit. But his family never discouraged him from talking anyway, nor from doing anything he set his mind to do.
As a child, this boy decided he wanted to play football. When there was no one to practice with, he went to the school and tossed the football at the side of the building, practicing catching it as it bounced this way and that. He practiced every morning, rain or shine. He just knew he wanted to play football. Once, Jeff and his wife were concerned about their son. It was raining horribly. The rain was coming down in buckets. "Surely," they thought, "he’s not practicing in this downpour." But he was.
When the boy was old enough to try out for football in school, he did. And he made the team. But his idols were all quarterbacks, and that’s what he wanted to be. Now Jeff had never discouraged his child from doing anything before, but this time he just couldn't keep silent. He knew that quarterbacks had to be able to talk to their teammates!
He sat his son down and asked him if he really thought that the position of quarterback was the one for which he should strive. His son told him that not only was he going to be quarterback, but also he was going to be the best one his junior high ever had. Further, he already had a goal of being the best quarterback for his high school, and wanted to get a college scholarship and had chosen his college. All this for a kid in junior high who had never spoken a sentence without stuttering. Jeff just shook his head, but he was concerned that his son would soon feel dejected and defeated. He was soon surprised.
Jeff’s son did become the quarterback for his junior high, and he was the best one they'd ever had. His team also accomplished things they'd never accomplished before, breaking school and county records.
One might wonder if the kid stopped stuttering during practice and games, but that was not the case. Someone else called the plays for him. Jeff didn't think that would be possible once his son entered high school.
Sure enough, Jeff’s son became the quarterback in high school too. And that team went on to become the champions that year. Yes, someone else was always behind his son calling the plays.
The story continues with Jeff’s son receiving a college football scholarship and being a quarterback in college. The college he had chosen back when he was a young teen wasn't the best in football. But, again, he helped his school achieve greatness like they'd never achieved before.
Jeff thought his son would be done with football after college, but soon learned that his son aspired to be a professional football player. He sat his son down once more and explained that while others could call the plays for him in junior high and high school, and even in college, that he didn't think this was feasible in professional football. Still his son was sure he would be selected because of his record.
The kid was right. He did become a professional football player – for a while. He showed that one can have a dream and work towards it, despite obvious obstacles.
One day, though, Jeff’s son called to tell him he was going back to school. He wanted to be a pastor. Now, Jeff was a man of deep faith himself. He had prayed for his son each time he left the house as a young kid trying to become a football player. He prayed for his son daily. He knew God could work in great ways, but he wasn't convinced that his son could be a preacher. Even if he wrote wonderful sermons, who would he get to read them? Jeff continued to pray for his son.
A few years later, Jeff got to hear his son preach for the first time. His son was quite eloquent. He didn't stutter at all. The boy who stuttered had become a man who could preach the word of God. The boy, who couldn't utter one sentence on the football field without stuttering, was now able to preach for 20 minutes without faltering.
Jeff learned that his son’s faith was far greater than his own faith. His son knew that if God called him to do something, that God would give him the strength to accomplish that task. Jeff learned that it was true that, "With God all things are possible."
Note: Jeff became ill with cancer, and when the sales reps and sales managers in our company discovered this, they sent cards. Jeff received over 800 cards in the span of just three days. He knew that people all over the country were praying for him, and our prayers were answered. Jeff recovered and went on to give motivational speeches for about five more years. He told us about his son in his first speech after recovery. Five years later had a relapse and died, but not until he had touched the lives of many more people. His son continues to preach.