Almost a year ago, Shaun Davis’ life was forever changed in the blink of an eye. As he nears the completion of his Bachelor of Divinity degree, he reflects on the new directions that God has taken him in and the second chance that he received.
Life Forever Changed
On June 9, 2019, I nearly died from a motorcycle crash. My life was forever changed. I was lucky not to be paralyzed, let alone die. I have been an athlete my entire life – running is my favorite. According to doctors, I will never run again. I use a cane part-time. Faced with a long recovery, I needed something to focus on. I did not want depression to claim me. The Lord was with me, so I knew I would be okay.
I was still in the hospital when I found Christian Leaders Institute online and signed up for some courses for self-enrichment. I wanted something positive and constructive to do with my down time. Not long after, I felt like I was being led to do something different with my life, so I signed up for college. I am now at the end of my journey, and I will soon have my degree! These courses have had a profound effect on my life, and I think differently now. I have a deeper understanding of God and what is written in the Bible. My plan is to be ordained through the church that I attend as a Deacon Minister. I would also like to be ordained as a Chaplain through Christian Leaders Alliance.
Occasionally, our Head Pastor has had me deliver the Communion Message. He has also asked me to deliver my personal testimony message when we are meeting after the COVID-19 restrictions are rescinded. The Associate Pastor has asked me to accompany him on some hospital visits. I also plan to learn some Chaplain duties from our local American Legion Chaplain. Currently, I am the substitute Sunday Bible School Teacher. The long-range plan is for me to take over for the current teacher who wants to focus on youth. I will be retiring from my career in corrections in the next one to three years. I would like to work with current inmates as well as former inmates. With my experience, I believe that I could make a difference in their lives. I plan to finish the Restorative Justice classes that CLI offers in the next little while.
The combination of my life experience, work experience, and the classes that I have taken will be valuable tools to use for these endeavors that I wish to undertake. I am a busy person who needs to stay busy in retirement, so I chose volunteer work. Not only do I enjoy teaching, but I also like working with inmates. I have had ample opportunity to do both. About five years ago, I returned home to Jesus as the prodigal son. I changed a lot about myself and the way I treat others, and it did not go unnoticed at work.
I have had numerous inmates come to me for advice, so I felt like a counselor at times. Many of them have told me that I should switch to a correctional counselor instead of a job foreman. I know that I have made a difference in some of their lives, but I would like to do more. It feels as if my ultimate calling is to work with these offenders: I want to help them have self-confidence, a productive life, and faith in Jesus.
I plan to continue taking CLI courses for my own self-enrichment. Even though I am almost finished with my degree, I want to keep my mind sharp! These courses make a great daily bible study program. Not only do I envision these courses benefitting me in whatever endeavor that I undertake, but they are enriching my personal life. In turn, this affects my friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone notices the changes, and some are curious to know what is different about me.
Since my near fatal accident, almost a year past, I have heard the same few comments spoken by so many people: “How do you stay so positive?”; “Why aren’t you angry or depressed?”; “Why aren’t you suing them?”; “You look happy”. I tell them that my faith in God has carried me through this time, and that He has something better planned for my life. God is not done with me yet! He has given my life new direction. I had felt the pull to put in practice The Great Commission, but I had not put it into place yet. There was always something else to do. I was too preoccupied with my projects and my obsession with trying to stay physically fit. I will never again be the athlete that I once was. Medically, I will never be capable of doing those things again. I have replaced that void in my life with something much more valuable: God and His will.
A Second Chance
About five years ago, I re-dedicated my life to God. I spent two years working on myself, and restructured how I think and treat others. I eliminated vulgar language and talking down to others. Also, I try to treat all people with respect and really listen to what they have to say. In the year before my accident, I felt like my life was missing something. I felt that I should start sharing my faith with others. Gradually, I put it out there that I was a Christian, but I was fearful of witnessing. I was afraid that I would not have the right words, and that I would look foolish. Now, I have a second chance to do something for God’s kingdom. I have learned so much valuable information in my time at Christian Leaders Institute! My fear has lessened, and I am stepping out in faith that God will work in any situation that I am involved in. I am to plant seeds and water them, but it is the Holy Spirit that changes someone. It is in God’s hands, not mine! I am moving forward with the Holy Spirit as my partner and my guide!
Do you feel like there is something missing in your life, too? It might be that God is calling you to leave your past behind and step into a life that will be forever changed by His power, grace, and love.