Flannel, Freshmen, and Forrest Gump; Pondering the Goodness of God in 1994
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
The thoughts below are a snapshot of my life from the fall of 1994; reflections from the album of my memory as a young two year old Christian. I pray that my words are an encouragement to you, and that they would be a reminder to you that every season of your past should be seen as a beautiful color in the tapestry of your spiritual pilgrimage.
“Each night seems to be getting darker a little earlier than the night before.There’s a chill in the air that points to the fact that winter is on the way. I walk alone across Union University’s campus at night taking the same path I took the night before, just like cattle do to a watering hole. As I walk, I find myself talking to the Lord about all the things going on in my life; things such as getting used to college, my feelings for Laura Lossing, my struggles with deciding which friendships to pursue…will it be the godly fellows I have met at college or the friends I ran around with in high school who seem to show little interest in the things of God? I talk to the Lord about the healing process I have been going through ever since my high school sweetheart broke up with me the week after graduation. As I walk, I see couples in love, holding hands and walking together. In front of me is my breath pattern hitting the chilly November air. I glance up at the stars in the sky and ponder the amazement of how God is listening to my prayers individually while He simultaneously individually listens to the prayers of every believer. I see the blinking lights of a plane and wonder what might be their northeastern destination. Thoughts of sanctification run through my heart as I realize that it would be more refreshing for me to quit listening to my R.E.M. tape and replace it with good Christian music like Wes King or Steve Wiggins. I find myself asking God a lot of questions. Will I get married? Will I be blessed with a child? Where will I live? Is being a veterinarian really God’s will for my life? Will the government wake up and get the message sent by the American people through last week’s landslide election? I realize that as I walk, I am creating moments in my life never to be forgotten. I pull on the collar of my flannel shirt and head toward the dorm room. On the way back to the entrance of the Watters Housing Complex I read “266 FXT.” Feelings of gratitude swell up inside me as I thank God for my car. ‘Some students don’t have transportation’ I think to myself. As I approach the dorm room, I can hear the vibrations of my loud roommates Ashley and Smithy; so much for tranquility and solitude. My eight o’clock class the next morning will come early. I’ll go to my room, make some hot chocolate, and read my bible for a while. I pop in my Forrest Gump instrumental tape and fall to sleep.”
There are many things that I desire for you to glean from the above snapshot from my life. First of all, you need to set time out each day to talk with God. Tell him what is on your heart and hold nothing back. Understand that He is walking through this journey with you. Also, remember that you are a work in progress. God will constantly speak to you about things in your life that need to be adjusted so you can honor and serve Him better. Savor each life moment and realize the beauty of each season of life you are in. Also, being alone is not a bad thing. God speaks clearly to us in moments of silence and solitude. Lastly, it’s good to ponder the sovereignty of God. While I communed with God that night with so many thoughts of love and of a future mate, God had His protective hand on a thirteen year old girl in Memphis named Sarah Armstrong.
– Pastor Eric