Sunday, November 3, 2013

Game Warden Files--A Self-Satisfied Prayer

Beyond my dream of become a NY Conservation Officer, I had two great desires--sort of my professional bucket list. I was a firearms instructor and I wanted to train police officers on an international level, what I considered to be the epitome of my profession.  The other was that I wanted to do good things--no make that great things--for the Lord.  

I became an ECO in 1982 and had achieved a fair degree of success in the job.  One day in 1997, as I was on patrol, fully enjoying everything about the day, the scenery and life in general, I was having a long, rambling conversation with the Lord, thanking and praising Him for all he'd done in my life: where He'd put me, the wife He'd given me, the profession in which I was so fulfilled; my bucket list was really forgotten during that prayer and I ended it with something like "...and if you need a police firearms instructor, you know where to find me."  It really wasn't said that flippantly, but that was the gist of it.  A friend who has said similar prayers calls them self-satisfied prayers.  

Some time before that, we'd met a couple named Ray and Barb Payne and through them had become connected with Peace Officers for Christ (POFCI).  The POFCI  newsletter arrived at my house not long after that prayer.  I opened it and read "Hi, Bill; you're going to Venezuela!"  It hadn't really said that, it had read "POFCI goes to Venezuela;" but my eyes read it differently.  I took the letter to my wife and all she saw was Venezuela, which she knew had great big bugs.  I told her I had to go or at least apply, and she was led to go also.  We applied were accepted and, taking our youngest son with us made our first trip outside the US.  

That trip was in the spring of 1998.  As part of that team, I was given the opportunity to fulfill both of my desires.  The mission of POFCI began with training police officers, building relationships with them and giving them the Gospel.  It was an effective ministry.  My wife Peggy got to use her best skills also, working with young children.  Apparently God had heard my prayer.  Since then, I've traveled, trained and ministered to police officers in several other Latin American nations on about a dozen trips.  Ps 37:4 tells us "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV).  Oh how he has done that.  

Though it might have been a reckless prayer of sorts, and certainly a bit self-serving, God heard it and He got the glory, and in so doing He gave me the desire of my heart.  

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