Returning to the Corner Ponds

I’ve wanted to snap this bike lean photo for a while now. Today, I made it happen. What appears as a bicycle in the bushes to others is a portrait of sacred space for me. To those raised in my hometown of West Green, they know this spot as Corner Ponds off Joe Ellis Road. It was where we skipped rocks, fished, and even swam as kids. But to me, it will always be holy ground. Because about fifteen feet behind where my bike is leaning is where I surrendered to the call to preach.

My anxious mind had a way of jumbling my words, twisting my sentences into verbal pretzels that didn’t make sense to me, and especially anyone else.

It was on the banks of Corner Ponds I relented to God’s persistent pursuit. I fought. I argued with Him. There was no way I could stand in front of people and talk, let alone preach. My anxious mind had a way of jumbling my words, twisting my sentences into verbal pretzels that didn’t make sense to me, and especially anyone else. Lord, I will write, but don’t make me speak in front of people. But here, kneeling in the red Georgia clay, I stopped fighting. I told God, I’ll go anywhere and do whatever you want me to, even preach, I’m yours.

Don’t tell me God can’t use you because I know He will if you surrender.

From this spot, God has taken a young high school dropout, allowed him to return to school, graduate college with honors, sent him to share the gospel on two continents, pastor multiple churches, become a Christian educator (even be voted Teacher of the Year), and write articles read around the world. Don’t tell me God can’t use you because I know He will if you surrender.

Please understand me. This is not a look-at-me-aren’t-I-wonderful post. Honestly, I still see myself as the nervous kid when I look in the mirror. I never want to forget where God has brought me from. That’s why I returned to the Corner Ponds today.

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