Day 2: Lessons from a White Blazer


My high school held an annual awards dance recognizing students for intangibles like “hardest worker,” “friendliest,” and “most encouraging.” I found myself being nominated for one of those awards and was expected to attend the dance—a scandal for a Baptist!

It was a coat and tie affair. I did not own a blazer, and my family could not afford to buy one. A friend had one he did not wear anymore and gave it to me. He took it out of the garment bag, and I was stunned. It was a white dinner jacket. Not exactly what I had in mind but it did fit nicely. I added blue slacks, a white shirt, and a blue tie and went to the dance.

I was the only one with a white blazer, which got a lot of attention. I did not win the award, but I did have a nice jacket to keep. The only trouble was deciding where to wear it next? Since it was the only dress jacket I owned, I decided to wear it exclusively to special events.

What about church on Sunday? No…not a special enough event; we went to church every Sunday. What about a friend’s birthday party? Nope…not a cool enough event. How about to a special Christmas concert? Nada…still not good enough. Event after event passed without me breaking out the white jacket.

And then it was time for graduation and a school-wide baccalaureate service. Now this was a special event. I got the jacket out of the closet and slipped my arms inside the sleeves.

Uh oh…something was wrong. The coat was too snug and the sleeves were far too short. It no longer fit. I had grown since I last wore the jacket. I had waited so long for the perfect event to wear the jacket that I lost the use of it entirely.

It is possible to do the same with the gifts and talents that God has given each of us. We know we have them but wait for the perfect time to use them. I’ll serve the Lord after graduation, or after the wedding, or after grad school, or after I am established in my job. The list goes on and on.

If you have a gift or talent God has given you use it now. If you have a passion for ministry develop it now. If you have a calling to some task answer that calling now. To wait until some perfect future time is to invite the possibility of losing the opportunity to do what God has called us to do now.

To wait until some perfect future time is to invite the possibility of losing the opportunity to do what God has called us to do now.

“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.“ – 1 Tim. 4:12 (NASV)

Don’t think because you are a college student you don’t yet have anything to share. Look at the ways Paul asks Timothy to be an example: in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Quite a list of tangible ways to show your commitment to Christ in the now. Let us pray today that God would help us recognize opportunities to serve Him in the now.

Written by Dr. Darryl Harrison, Chief Academic Officer