It's nighttime on the farm. Supper is done and the kitchen is cleaned up. I am thinking about the talk on Harry Sturz that I will give at the Clearview Apologetics Conference in a few weeks, and so I saunter over to the computer. Amazingly, a Google search of "Harry Sturz" brings up an online edition of an old Biola College catalogue.
I flip through the pages until I come to the faculty pages. There, at the top of the page, is the name "HARRY STURZ."
Then, at the bottom of the page, I see this name: "DAVID BLACK."
Maybe you don't see the irony of things quite like I do, but when I saw that Harry Sturz began his teaching career in 1953, I just about fell out of my chair. It was a reminder that when he began teaching Greek, I was only one year old. Then, a mere 23 years later, I had become his colleague in the Greek Department. That is so much like life, isn't it?
Over the years I've learned that there are no coincidences in life. You're a fledgling seminary student who just graduated from college the year before and the next thing you know it you're teaching 11 units of beginning Greek. Amidst the seemingly capricious and unstoppable cycle of time, there are things that you can only conclude were providential. Events seem to line up perfectly, as if they are orchestrated. Because they are.
Those unforeseen circumstances can come in a variety of ways. I'm reminded of my social studies teacher at Kailua High School who told me that I could succeed in college if I studied hard and applied myself. Or the dean of admissions at Biola who saw to it that a young man from Hawaii had a job in the school cafeteria so that he could afford to take classes. Or the beautiful nursing student from Dallas who said "I do" when I asked her if she'd marry me and be by my side as I began my teaching career. Or the Greek prof who saw potential in me that I never saw in myself. In all of it, the hand of God was leading me.
The important thing is to identify the things in life that matter most to you because they matter most to God, and then pursue them with everything you have. Don't ever hold back. As you move forward in life, pay attention to the here and now. Grab hold of the moment and live it to the best of your ability. If you are in a transitional phase of life, trust God to show you the way forward.
Above all, remember the cross. The closer we live to it, the more truly we live.