A few years ago, eight high school seniors received a college scholarship. In addition to being intelligent these students were chosen because they were the first in their family to attend college. All eight winners allowed me to read and quote from their scholarship application letters. Each letter highlights a story offering an inspiring example of courage and faith. But, it wasn’t always easy.
- “My life got off to a very bumpy start: literally. I was born in transit to the delivery room, somewhere between the back seat of a 1979 baby blue Volkswagen Rabbit and the fourth floor of the hospital. My father was sent to prison a few years ago –“
- “I was four when my parents divorced. I can truly say that it was one of the worst experiences that I have had yet –“
- “I was raised in a house full of people so I always had to fight for everything I wanted, including attention – “
- “These seventeen years of my life have been filled with heartache, joy, compassion, love, and devotion. “
Peter gives his own recipe for success to a struggling church: “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- God gives us gifts.
- Manage our gifts wisely.
- Use our gifts knowing God speaks through us.
- Do everything with all your strength and energy.
- Give God the glory for your success.
Influence: “In my opinion, the difference between a child that sells drugs and a child that makes the honor roll is the encouragement and faith that adults instill in them.”
Here is the recipe for success I discovered in our eight scholarship winners?
- Knowing what you want to do.
- A strong desire to succeed.
- Maintaining your perspective.
- Seeking a good mentor.
- An appreciation for your blessings.
- A willingness to serve.
- Becoming an influence for others.
- Faith in a loving God who will walk beside you.
I pray we all learn from their example.