The Road's end


                              Phil Scovell

                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

          Reproduction of the following is granted by the copyright holder,
          Phil Scovell, if such reproduction is done in the spirit in which
          it was given.   It may not  be reproduced and sold  for financial
          gain without  written permission  of the  copyright holder:  Phil
          Scovell.  Electronic  formats may be distributed  freely but this
          copyright notice must  remain with each copy and  the text cannot
          be  altered  in  any  way.    For  convenience,  this   copyright
          notification  may  be  placed  at  the end  of  the  document  if
          reproduced electronically.


          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG

                             THE ROAD'S END


                              Phil Scovell

               I walked the road alone for what  seemed to be miles, or was
          it years, perhaps a life time?  Never did I leave the security of
          the hardened  surface beneath my  feet.  I followed  every curve,
          topped every hill,  and penetrated every darkened  valley without
          hesitation.  The bright green  fields on either side of the  road
          were  lush and  aromatic; their  scent  motivating .   The  road,
          however, was lifeless empty, and  uninhabited.  I, too, was alone
          but  I was  never afraid  because the  road provided  direction -
          somewhere to go.  As long as I was on the road, I was safe.

               Suddenly, and unexpectedly, the road ended.  I  found myself
          standing  in  an open  field.    I  felt conspicuous  and  looked
          curiously about.   "Where was the road?"  I moved forward; taking
          a few  cautious steps.   "No,  not there.  Maybe over  here?"   I
          looked.  No.   Somehow I felt  strangely.  The air  turned chill.
          "Turn back!"  my heart shouted.  "There's safety on the road."  I
          obeyed my  conscience and  whirled.   As  I did,  an arctic  fear
          seized my heart.  As far as the eye  could see, there was nothing
          but a sea of dark green grass.  No flowers, no trees,  no life of
          any kind;  no road.   It had vanished  completely.  The  road, my
          road, was gone.  I felt hopelessly alone.

               Depression has become a common  topic of discussion for both
          author and  radio talk show host.   The most  popular programs in
          recent  years  are those  employing  psychologists  who encourage
          listeners to  call in with  their personal problems.   Depression
          always  tops  the  list.    It has  even  invaded  the  Christian
          community with  such force  and effectiveness  that many  pastors
          have found  it necessary to  obtain additional  training just  to
          handle the numerous cases of depression faced by their own church
          members.  As  surely as a baby  is conceived in a  mother's womb,
          depression will be born to every person facing the issues of life
          as an  adult.  For the Christian, it  is a spiritual cancer which
          necessitates   a  continuous  cure   since  depression  is  never
          eliminated; changing shape and identity unpredictively.

               My depression became  visible in  the most  common of  ways:
          Upset  stomach, erratic  sleeping habits, ferocious  apatite, and
          headaches  so  severe  that relief  occasionally  only  came from
          vomiting.    Fear, Doubt,  anger,  and even  hatred  all revealed
          themselves in physical  ways.  I had  been rejected.  I  had seen
          the affects of rejection in the lives of other people but I never
          really  expected  it  to  happen to  me.    After  all,  I was  a
          Christian!  I was on the  road!  I knew where I was  going!  When
          it came, I lost what I thought was my most precious possession; I
          lost  my ministry and my relationship with  God.  "Could God ever
          use me again?"

               At the age  of eleven I  was pronounced totally blind.   Six
          months,  and  a  dozen  operations  later, I  was  left  with  no
          alternative; I had to face life without sight.  "Could I do it?" 

               After  attending  a  school for  the  blind,  Bible college,
          marriage, and three years of secular employment, I went full time
          into the ministry as a traveling evangelist and guest speaker.   I
          overcame transportation problems successfully,  I adjusted to new
          surroundings,  new people, and new places every week.  Everywhere
          I  went I  experienced new  accommodations in  private  homes and
          motels.   Financial pressure became  a way of life.  I  even sold
          personal belongings whenever  necessary just to pay the  rent.  I
          became addicted to God and the ministry.   My joy was full and my
          zeal  for the  Lord was  so captivating  that I almost  forgot my
          blindness until 1979.

               One day,  while traveling, I  was offered the  possession of
          assistant  pastor  in  a  small   town.    Not  only  would  this
          opportunity give  me the privilege  of serving in a  local church
          ministry, but I also was given liberty to continue traveling as I
          desired.  In a few short months  I fell in love with the ministry
          of a local  church.  No  more airports, no  more strange beds  to
          sleep in each week,  no new names to  try and recall, and no  new
          places to try and learn my  way around.  As the months  passed, I
          became more and  more engaged in the  ministry of the  church and
          more and more convinced of God's true calling upon my life.

               One day  the pastor called  me into his  office and  told me
          that God was calling  him to leave his  church.  He and  I agreed
          the church would no doubt call me as their next pastor.  The  joy
          in my heart was almost more than I could bear.  One month earlier
          I  had been  ordained by  the church  and began  calling churches
          looking for  a pastor.  My greatest dream  was coming true.  What
          more could  a man ask?   I  was in love  with small town  life; a
          wonderful place for  the raising of my  children.  I was  in love
          with the people, the  church, and with God.   Now I was going  to
          have  the privilege of fulfilling  my heart's desire by pastoring
          one of God's  precious flocks.  Though I was totally blind, I had
          finally achieved God's perfect will.

               In less  than four months I  found myself forced  to sell my
          new home and return to a city in which I  had hoped I would never
          again  have  to  live.    I had  been  turned  down,  eliminated,
          rejected.   They did  not feel that someone  blind was capable of
          being their pastor.  The results of spiritual paralysis, however,
          would not reveal itself  for several months.  I began  to be turn
          down time  and time  again by churches  uninterested on  having a
          blind pastor.   Finally, my will to go on  was broken.  My spirit
          was wounded.  The  church, the ministry, the Bible, and  even God
          Himself became  as cold as  ice.  After three  years of spiritual
          failure, financial loss, and rejection from church and friends, I
          realized my road had come to  an end.  Hope is a  poor substitute
          for faith and  I had neither.  Rejection  became characterized by
          loneliness.  Those who had once encouraged me in the ministry now
          said perhaps  I was out of the  will of God and  even suggested I
          had failed.  "It's obvious,"  they said, "because God isn't using
          you any more."  It was even suggested that if I had not married a
          wife  who  was also  blind,  perhaps things  would  be different.
          Although I had  given up, my body  and mind had  not.  They  both
          continued to  punish me  physically and  emotionally for  being a
          failure; not only as a  preacher but as a Christian.  All  of the
          preaching and teaching I had  done now provided no comfort.   Out
          of desperation I did the only thing left; I learned to pray.

               During the summer  of 1982, I set  my heart to learn  how to
          pray.   I focused  my thoughts on  God and His  Word every waking
          moment of my  day.  I even  fell asleep at night and  woke in the
          morning  meditating on  God's  Word.   I  explored  His Word  and
          discovered many new prayer forms which allowed me to commune with
          God  continually.    Nothing  happened  at  first.    Eventually,
          however, I began  to notice something different.   I was becoming
          aware  of God's presence.  Additionally, financial needs began to
          be satisfied.  This, however,  becomes the most dangerous area of
          concern for most  Christians.  When we  begin to seek God  out of
          desperation, eventually  circumstances begin to  shift favorably.
          Stress is reduced,  pressure is released, and often  we loose our
          vision for spiritual truth.  In the absence of such  pressure, we
          often reduce our desire to pursue God.  When this occurs,  we are
          thus  robbed of  spiritual maturity  so  desperately needed  when
          facing true depression.  I,  however, was not satisfied with just
          having my financial needs met, I wanted God!  After two months of
          saturating  my life with the prayers  of my heart, God entered my
          prayers with His eternal presence and Holiness.

               In the many  years which have followed, my  awareness of God
          has  increased  and  I have  perpetually  reached  new  levels of
          spiritual intimacy never dreamed possible.  I always thought such
          intimacy with God was reserved for those who offer God talent and
          ability.    I  thought  achievers  were  those  who received  the
          greatest blessings from  God.  Now, however,  I know it  is those
          who learn  to worship God  that experience the deepest  stages of
          spiritual intimacy.  If  I would have learned how to  worship God
          those  many years ago  as I mentally  stood in the  open field of
          defeat at  my road's end,  perhaps depression would not  have had
          such an dramatic effect upon my  life.  You see, if at my  road's
          end, I would have simply  looked up, I would have seen  God.  For
          the Christian, a road to follow  is not as important or necessary
          as the leadership of the Holy Spirit who always directs us in the
          love of  God.  Then,  and only then,  is it possible to  hear the
          voice of God, "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

                            End Of Document
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