I thought I had a good excuse: I had been working 12-hour days, attending college, trying to care for my wife and two kids, and getting 4 hours of sleep each night. I owed it to myself. So every time we had our Bible college Chapel hour, I would walk out to the parking lot, get inside my Volkswagen Bug, and take a nap. I thought no one would ever notice. Well, I thought wrong.

The next time I went to Chapel, one of our college faculty members got up and said, “The one Chapel you miss could be the one that will change your life.” That instantly killed any hopes I had of getting another nap in during Chapel. But a strange thing happened when I began attending the Chapel services regularly: I started to learn and grow.

Now that I am the chancellor of my own Bible college, I take advantage of every opportunity to teach the students practical lessons from my different experiences in ministry. They can learn from my mistakes and see the best way of dealing with some of the challenges that will come up when they get started in ministry. That’s why so many of the students consider our Chapel services a highlight of their education.

If you want to grow spiritually, you have to put yourself in a place where you can learn. For some, it may require attending church as often as the doors are open. Others may need to spend more time in personal Bible study and prayer. This will come at a price. I still had to work those 12-hour days and survive on a few hours of sleep each night — but looking back, I can say it was worth it. There is no excuse for failing to learn all you can learn right now. And do it while you still can. The opportunity may never come again.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder