As a teenager, Daniel had plans to attend college, graduate, and become a petroleum engineer, then work with an oil company. He was privileged to have loving and caring parents who were the envy of his friends. His parents were very supportive of his plans and gave him all the encouragement that he needed to accomplish it. In spite of all the support, he was nothing but a quarrelsome young man. Beside his parents and his siblings, those dealing directly with him either at school or in a social gathering find this negative attribute very disturbing and discouraging. This singular blot in his character made many other teens who came across him to be wary and extra tolerant in their dealings with him. In addition is the attitude of discouragement, frustration, impatience, and misunderstanding of a lot of issue. His parents, though loving, were very wearied by his shameless lifestyle.
Sometimes Daniel was discouraged when he did not meet his expectations, or frustrated when people did not agree with his methods. This always led him to wrong assumptions or false conclusions. Many times he did not recognize his limitation when doing things, even though nobody is good or called to do everything. He always wanted to please everyone or to accomplish everything instead of focusing on what God had equipped him to do. Oftentimes, he struggled with misunderstanding his friends, especially when they resorted to cheating, deception, or back-stabbing. These were all negative life markers.
But his deepest negative marker was impatience. Even though his parents taught him the importance of always waiting quietly, patiently, courageously, and confidently with anticipation, he sometimes attempted too quickly to provide answers to life’s problems, which often led him to complaining. These negative markers became huge obstacles for Daniel to achieve his set goals.
But thanks to the perseverance of his parents, who tried unrelentingly without much success to get him to the side of the Savior Jesus Christ. To God’s glory, Daniel, one day, accepted their invitation to go to an open-air evangelistic program where he felt the touch of God upon his life through the message given by the preacher. He became troubled about the state of his wretchedness and the inability to change his lifestyle.
Then the time came when the preacher invited those who were willing to change or give their life to Jesus Christ to step forward for prayers. Daniel had only few minutes to decide. He knew he had to go forward. He had no choice if he must have the change he needed so badly. A certain fear gripped his heart. Then suddenly, he broke loose, heaved a deep sigh and stepped forward to the altar. That day and that moment, he cast all his burdens to Christ and a tremendous transformation took place in his life.
Looking back, after 22 years, Daniel believe that God had used his teenage life circumstances to develop his patience–teaching him how to overcome discouragement and frustration, and how to work with others. He believe God has developed in him great virtues of temperance, hope, faith, and love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Although, he may not have become an engineer as he planned earlier, but by the grace of God, Daniel graduated with honors in religion from one of the best Theological Seminary and Graduate Schools in United States. This particular achievement is a positive marker in his life.
Overall, Daniel’s story teaches us that “We may make our plans but God has the last word” (Proverbs 16:1). It also reminds us that life is full of both negative and positive markers. However, we must consider ourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come our way. For when our faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. We must make sure that endurance carries us all the way without falling, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).
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