066AR - The Switch

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

A few days ago – and you’ve probably had this happen to you – I was in a hurry to get somewhere when I was caught by a train. Slowly that thing rolled to a stop directly across my path. A man jumped off and walked a few yards ahead to a switch. He grabbed the lever, and he moved this little tiny section of rail just a few inches, thus enabling the train to move to a different track and change directions.

Now, think about that for a minute. Because of these insignificant things called switches, huge trains weighting thousands of tons and being – being over a mile long are able to radically change directions, and end up at completely different destinations.

Awe! – Now so it is with people. The tiniest of influences and decisions can cause the most radical of changes in people’s lives, leading them to totally different destinations and different courses. May I share a personal experience along that line?

Many years ago, I was asked to give a church lesson to my friends and college roommates. Now, I suppose that may seem harmless enough to most of you, except that it had only been a matter of weeks for me that I had even begun to consider the existence of God, let alone teach someone else about Him.

I was 18 years old. I knew nothing about God; I wasn’t even sure I believed in Him. Never in my life to that point had I taught any kind of a lesson, nor given any manner of a public speech. I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say or to do. Needless to say, I was scared to death!

Someone thrust a teaching manual in my hands and said, “Here, just follow this!”

Oh, yeah – as if it [were] that easy. So I did.

Now here we were, all my friends and roommates gathered in my apartment on Monday night to hear pitiful little me expound ‘the mysteries of the kingdom.’ Well, I began as the manual told me. It came to a place where I was instructed to ask my ‘audience’ a question. So I did, but no one answered. They just sat there looking at the floor. I waited, and I waited.

Finally in frustration I blurted out, “C’mon you guys, answer me!”

They looked so shocked, but they answered me; they came to life, all of them! In a matter of minutes, a marvelous Gospel discussion ensued. And I’m sure looking back that I just smiled and nodded, and had no clue what they were talking about.

Now here’s the point: When the lesson was over, a number of them came up to me and complimented me on the wonderful lesson ‘I’ had taught. It might seem like a silly thing, but that had a profound impact on me. It was the first time in my life I could remember feeling like I was actually good at something. I believed what they told me.

Because of that experience, I always and ever after that accepted teaching opportunities that came my way. Eventually – and you may judge for yourself – I became a professional teacher and speaker.

Again, my dear friends, the influence of the tiniest compliment switched the entire course and destination of my life. I will always be grateful to those wonderful friends.

Glenn Rawson – December 1999
Music: The Switch – Michael Leavitt
Song: For Good – One Clear Voice
Audio recording from the CD “Inspiration,” a collection of 8 Glenn Rawson stories.