Friday, November 30, 2007

A Skeptic’s Quest – My Testimony Part 1

I am probably the least likely person to be doing what I do and what I have done. You said, what do you mean? Over the years I have given more lectures to more students at more universities than anyone in history. In nineteen out of twenty universities we would have the largest crowds for lectures in the history of the university. We would go into a school like Stanford University, at the time rated the number one school in America, and in two nights we had five thousand students there and there are only six thousand in the university. Yet I am the most unlikely person to be doing this.

Let me give you the background. I grew up in a little tiny town in the state of Michigan, in my country. That is the one with all the lakes around it with a thumb going up right in the center to the top. My parents never went beyond the second grade. They had very poor grammar and they never corrected my grammar. I grew up and I still have very poor grammar. Most people don’t catch it because they have worse. I am sure my teachers taught good grammar but I never caught it.

When I was in the second grade they tried to switch me from being left handed to being right handed. I don’t mind being right handed. God is left handed. He is. The Bible says that ‘Jesus is sitting on the right hand,’ so God must be left handed. I grew up left handed. They tried to switch me from being left handed to right handed. I thought they were trying to do it because I was inferior. They didn’t tell me they were trying to help me to be better. One thing they did when I was in the second grade, in the afternoon for one hour, when everyone was out in recess playing, I had to go into this room twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, and a woman by the name of Mrs. Duall was to break me from being left handed.

I remember one of the ways she did it. We would sit at a little table and she would take a box of play blocks. She would dump them out on the table and very nicely she would say, “Josh build a house.” Under my breath, I would smile and say, “Build your own dumb house lady.” And then she would raise her voice, “JOSH, BUILD A HOUSE!” Then I would respond. It is kind of like your mother. Most kids know they don’t have to respond to their mother until her voice gets to a certain octave. When it gets to that certain octave, you take the trash out. When it gets to that certain octave, you clean your room. I always knew with Mrs. Duall, I did not have to respond until her voice got to a certain octave. I would reach out with my left hand to start building a house. She had a twelve inch wooden ruler. Every time I would reach out, she would take it and hit me across my knuckles and I would scream and then she would raise her voice and say, "Stop, think it through, do it with your right hand!”

A lot of people laugh at this. It caused a speech impediment. Whenever I was tired, nervous, or scared there was a mental block and I would stutter. When I was in third grade, which was what, 8 years old, it was third grade; I had to stand up and was supposed to recite the Gettysburg Address by the former President Lincoln. I couldn’t do it. Whenever I got in front of the crowd I would stutter. I remember the teacher kept saying, “Say it, say it, say it.” You talk about being embarrassed. I broke down crying and this is in third grade, 8 years old. I broke down crying and ran out of the room and I never forgot that. I grew up with a tremendous inferiority complex and thinking because I was left handed, I was less than somebody else who was right handed. However, I was so stubborn they could not break me. I was determined that just out of rebellion; I was going to stay left handed.

1 comment:

Robert said...

I have beenrecommitted to Christ for 1 1/2 years. I have recently bought "A Ready Defense." This book is fasinating, very educational and very valuable to me. I am so grateful for the work this book has in it. It's made a great fan of Mr. McDowell's work. Thank you for your time and work.

Robert Eby
Canada (Aldergrove, BC)