Echoes From the Campfire

A man should stop ever’ now and again and ask himself what he was doing, where he was going, and how he planned to get there. And the hardest thing to learn is that there aren’t any shortcuts.”
–Louis L’Amour (Tucker)

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
–Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)
Over the years, especially the last few, I noticed that most students have no clue where they are going or what they want to do in life. Most will just say, “make a lot of money.” There is no real plan and when reality hits them they don’t know what to do. That’s one reason we see so many children living at home instead of going out, facing life, and making something of themselves.
Despite the attitude of the day, shortcuts don’t cut it. It’s not alright to do something wrong if it gets you ahead. Go to a prison and talk to the inmates. Many of them are there simply because they wanted a shortcut to wealth.
One more thing to consider–there are no shortcuts to heaven. There is only one gate, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14, NKJV)
I think it was de Tocqueville that said, “When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Our morals have dropped considerably in the name of political correctness and personal rights. Morals are not relative! Right is right, and wrong is wrong! However, what I want to bring to view is one of the great things about America was/is the great missionary mind it has. The gospel came to America and from here it has spread across the world. One of the reasons America has been so blessed is that it has sent God’s Word throughout the world.
I’d like to share a story from Robert J. Morgan’s book, On This Day. “Christian parents often worry about sending their sons and daughters to colleges and universities. Sometimes with good reason. Young people can ‘lose their faith’ there. But some lose it only to regain it later with added strength.
Adoniram Judson grew up in parsonages around Boston in the 1700s. He entered Brown University at age 16 and graduated valedictorian of his class. While there he became best friends with Jacob Eames. Jacob was a deist and, in practical terms, an atheist. Ridiculing Judson’s faith, he challenged him with the writings of Voltaire and the French philosophers. When Adoniram returned home, he told his parents that he, too, had become an atheist. His mother broke into gentle sobs. His father roared and threatened and pounded the furniture.
Adoniram, 21, migrated to New York City to establish himself as a playwright. But then, hearing tales from the American frontier, he saddled his horse and headed west. One everning, weary from traveling, he stopped at an inn. The proprietor said, ‘Forgive me, sir, but the only room left–well, it’ll be a bit noisy. There’s a young fellow next door awfully sick.’ Adoniram, too tired to care, took the key.
The night became a nightmare. The trampling of feet coming and going. Muffled voices. Painful groans. Chairs scraping against the floor. Adoniram was troubled by it all, and he wondered what his friend Jacob Eames would say about fear, illness, and death.
The next morning while checking out, he asked about the young man in the next room. The proprietor said, ‘I thought maybe you’d heard. He died, sir, toward morning. Very young. Not more than your age. Went to Brown University out East.’ Adoniram stiffened. The man continued, ‘His name was Jacob Eames.’
The West suddenly lost its lure, and Adroniram turned his horse toward home. Soon he gave his life to Christ, and, shortly afterward, devoted himself to missions. On February 6, 1812, Adoniram Judson was commissioned as America’s first foreign missionary. He, his wife, and companions sailed for Burma on February 18.”
I spent 39 years in Christian schools and there was one thing I was greatly concerned about–the lack of those who entered a full-time ministry. I fully understand that one does not have to become a pastor or missionary or evangelist, however, I wonder if people listen to the “call.” I have talked to many over the years and they will say they will do what the Lord wants, but then they give their conditions. It’s one of those things from which we can borrow a military term, “unconditional surrender.”
One reason America is great is became men such as Adoniram Judson heard and heeded the call!