No. 1228



Well, it happened again. How many times have you attended a conference or a seminar and some really big names are on the program, and at least one other person’s name is there that you have never seen or heard before. This is what happened to Janis and me several weeks ago when we attended The Jubilee Conference in Branson, Mo. We had heard the names of Bill Gaither, Dino, The Melody Boys, Karen Peck & New River and The New Speer Family, but had never heard the name Charles Billingsley. This was a three-day conference, and the last evening Charles walked out on the stage all by his lonesome, opened his mouth and started to sing. For the next hour he captivated the audience of 3,000 people with one terrific song after another. He was so good that he just left me speechless.
Well, believe it or not, today’s column is not about Charles Billingsley -- it’s about you. What was so interesting to me, and it’s what I want to talk with you about, is that Charles was not someone you would pick out of a crowd to have the kind of talent that he has. To be sure, he is just an ordinary looking guy, but when he opened his mouth and began to sing, everything changed. He demonstrated very quickly why he was on the program, and we were all glad he was. Now, to the obvious: what changes about you, for people who don’t know you, when you open your mouth? None of us have to be a world-class talent to make a difference. We have the power to make a real difference in the lives of others by what comes out of our mouth.
What is important to understand is that this man did not have a polished talent when he was born, but he had to go through a process of developing his raw talent by practice, maybe voice lessons, and years of developing his on-stage presence to become what he is today. What is important to understand is that God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. Personally, I can’t sing a lick; in fact I mess up people when I stand next to them. But God did give me a clear strong voice. In time I discovered that I loved to speak, and over time became what I believe to be a better-than-average speaker, at least good enough to get paid for it.
Please understand, God don’t make no junk. As we explore other possibilities, just realize the ability or talent we are given may be to use our hands, legs, feet, eyes, and especially our mind to contribute something special in our service to others. Just think about all the different ways we can use our legs to become highly successful, maybe as an athlete, a postman, a model or a salesman. The same applies to our hands as a painter, an artist, a fashion designer or a dentist, and a thousand and one other things. And we can also include our feet and eyes. When we think about our marvelous human mind, the possibilities are limitless.
My friend, here is my point. When we think this way, our future is very bright indeed as we all have talent and ability just waiting to be discovered and used. Over the past few months I have been hearing about all the suicides and the great number of deaths from opioids, and other tragic outcomes for God’s special people that He created in his own image. We all have worth and value in His sight, and this is the message that desperate people need to hear. When we encounter others who are down on themselves and even consider ending it all, make them feel loved and that they have worth and value as a precious human being. And thanks, Charles.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)