Usually when I sit at my computer to put my thoughts to paper for the Epworth Pulpit I write about something which excites me in some way. I have no trouble making my point and giving you several illustrations of it. This is not one of those times! Today’s contribution comes as much as a reminder to me as it might be to you. In fact, I think I might even surprise myself with some of the things I am about to say. This is not one of those articles that has been burning in my heart, just waiting for the right opportunity to share with you. Rather, its message hit me unexpectedly; I’ve been pondering it for days.
The catalyst for this article came from a tearful conversation I had last week with the mother of one of our university students. Her words floored me, to say the least. In order for you to understand the impact of her words, let me tell you two unrelated stories. These two stories will soon converge in an interesting way.
Story #1. A young man moved to our campus to start college this fall in answer to many prayers. His story fits the classic model of a young person still seeking his way spiritually, needing a fresh start, away from home for the first time, and ending up providentially at our university. I got the word that he was coming our way after he was already packed and on the road. His was one of those situations where we wanted desperately for all the pieces of life’s puzzle to come together quickly for him. We wanted all of his classes to go well; we wanted him to make friends quickly; we wanted him to get involved in campus life and like it!