Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Timothy 2:24-26.
In the early days of our duck call business, before Duck Dynasty was a hit TV show, I was answering the phone and taking orders. We were happy, happy, happy just to hear the phone ring at that time. Every sale was necessary for our survival.
One day as I was taking an order, the customer used the Lord’s name in vain about five or six times. He wasn’t upset, mind you. He just talked that way, probably out of habit. After I finished taking down his shipping information, I said, “Let me ask you something. Why do you keep cursing the only One who can save you from death? Why would you pick Him out and use His name like that?”
There was silence on the other end. Finally, I said, “Are you still there?”
“Yeah, I’m still here . . . ,” he answered. “You got my duck call or what?”
“Yup,” I said. “Got it. It’s on the way.”
The caller slammed down the phone. I figured that was the end of that.
Ten minutes passed and the phone rang again.
“Hello, Duck Commander,” I answered.
It was him.
“You know something?” he said. “I’ve been thinking. You’ve got a point.”
I looked down at his order. Thinking out loud, I said, “Let’s see, you’re in Alabama. You can drive here in about ten hours. You ought to load up and come on down here, and I’ll tell you a story about the One whose name you’ve been misusing. You might change your mind about Him.”
He said he’d think about that offer. Again, I figured that would be the end of the story. Then, about a week later, a guy knocks on my door and steps into my house.
“You know who I am?”
“I don’t believe I do.”
“I’m that guy from Alabama.”
Amazed that the dude actually showed up, I invited him into our living room. I got out my Bible and told him how we all have a problem with sin and death. I explained who Jesus was, what He had done on the cross, and that God had sent Him so that everybody who believes in Him won’t perish. After I gave him the Good News, I said, “You’ve been cursing Him. What about now? Do you still feel the same way?”
That guy wept. I mean, he was a grown man, maybe thirty-five or forty years old, but he just cried on my living room floor. I asked if he wanted to go down to the river and be washed of his sins and his evil ways. He said yes. I offered him dry clothes to put on afterward, but he said he’d be alright. After I baptized him, he got back in his truck—wet clothes and all—and took off up the road like his tail was on fire.
Seventeen years went by, and I was getting ready to preach at a church in Alabama when someone came up to me and said, “Phil, do you remember the guy who called you on the phone to order a duck call and was using God’s name in vain so much?”
“Well, now that you mention it, I do remember that dude. He was from Alabama,” I replied.
“He is one of the leaders of this church!” he rejoiced. “He’s waiting downstairs and wants to talk to you.” You could have knocked me over with a feather.
When I went down there, he told me how he had confronted his Christian buddies after he left my home. He asked them, “How come I had to drive all the way to Louisiana before I heard the gospel of Jesus? I was using that filthy language around y’all, and y’all never said a word. That old guy on the telephone called me out on it. I went over there to see what the fuss was about. Now, I have eternal life. Y’all never told me that.”
The looks on their faces said, We didn’t know you was ever going to change!
None of us knows what God can accomplish when we act according to the wisdom of 2 Timothy 2:24–26. When we’re gentle, patient, humble, and willing to speak the truth, even the most unlikely people can “come to their senses.” And who knows? They may even guide others to accept the message that was extended to them.