Consider the younger days of Billy Frank, the elder son of a dairy farmer. His dad rousted him out of bed around two thirty each morning to perform chores. Younger brother Melvin relished the work, tagging along at his father’s side, eager to take his turn long before he was able.
Not Billy Frank. He and Melvin had the same father, but not the same bent. The minute he finished his chores, Billy Frank dashed into the hayloft with a copy of Tarzan or Marco Polo. By the age of fourteen, he had traced The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Missionary stories, accounts of brave servants in faraway lands, fascinated the boy most of all.
Later, as a college student at Florida Bible Institute, he visited with every evangelist who gave him time. He served their tables, polished their shoes, caddied for them, carried their luggage, posed to have his picture taken with them, and wrote home to tell his mother how much he “longed to be like this one or that one.”3
Billy Frank bore one more trademark: energy. His mother remembered, “There was never any quietness about Billy. . . . I was relieved when he started school.” He was hyperactive before the term existed. Always running, inquiring, questioning. “He never wears down,” his parents told the doctor. “It’s just the way he’s built,” the doctor assured.4
Study Billy Frank’s mosaic: fascinated with books and words, intrigued by missionaries and faraway lands, blessed with boundless energy . . .What happens with a boy like that?
And what happens when God’s Spirit convinces him of sin and salvation? Young Billy Frank decided to drop his middle name and go by his first. After all, an evangelist needs to be taken seriously. And people took Billy Frank Graham very seriously.
What if Graham had ignored his heart?
What if his parents had forced him to stay on the farm? What if no one had noticed God’s pattern in his life? The oak indwells the acorn.
What if you fail to notice yours
Max Lucado, Cure for the Common life