Life-Limiting Circumstances?

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Visit the local community college. For several days, I felt that impression. Today, it was overwhelming. So I skipped breakfast and told Cindy I would be back after a short while.

There was an eight-week summer intensive on Native American studies that I wanted to take. Weeks earlier, I had uploaded my online enrollment application but had not received a reply. Following the impression, I drove to the student services building, where a kind lady told me that summer registration was closing that day and most classes were full. Determined, I met with the registrar and signed up for Fall and Winter classes. A staff member then told me I needed to take a college placement test and led me to a room with several computers.

As I sat at the computer, I began answering multiple-choice questions on math and English comprehension. Oh, my word! What have I gotten myself into? I thought.

The first series of questions was on statistics and algebra. It may as well have been on ancient hieroglyphics. I had no idea. I plowed through that part like fire in stubble, not even looking back. Then came the English grammar questions. I felt like burnt toast. What on earth is a dangling participle? Like math, English is not my thing. When I got to the 400-to-600-word essay, I read the topic: “Is life achievement limited by one’s circumstance?”

As a Christian, I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and what Jesus taught can reshape our future and give meaning and purpose to life. I believe that once, long ago, twelve obscure, unlearned men turned the world upside down by observing Jesus, believing Him and living His teachings—becoming world changers. I believe with God only that which is impossible for God becomes impossible for man.

Praying for guidance, I started typing. An hour later, I finished with 476 words and clicked the ‘submit’ button. Yay! At last, the test was over.

When I received the test results, I learned my math skills were awful, which was not surprising. I also learned my essay had received a perfect score and that I now hold the college record. Wow! Praise the Lord.

Circumstances on the reservation are pretty glum, and hopelessness is endemic. But I know there is hope. Our environment does not permanently limit us. God can help men and women work His plan and achieve God-sized accomplishments in His strength and with His leading. Please continue praying that God orchestrates our time and interactions on the Fort Peck Reservation so Cindy and I can boldly and effectively communicate the hope we have in Jesus with our neighbors.

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