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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ripples

Do you or did you have grand plans for your life?  How is that working out for you?
Ripples
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.  I made it to instructor pilot in the Air Force.  Didn’t last long at that, the end of the Viet Nam war meant that overnight there was a surplus of pilots.  So I was released from my six-year commitment three and a half years in.

I came to Christ shortly after I started pilot training.  It soon dawned on me that the planes would burn, but the men in them would live eternally either in hell or in the presence of the Lord.  My focus changed.  I gave up the idea of flying reconnaissance and instead chose to be an IP so I could be around the men who were helping me in the Christian life.

When I left the Air Force I moved into the basement of a Navigator rep’s house and begin to work as a cost engineer and to help him start the ministry at UAB.  I had no idea how to do that.  A year and a half into that project I married my female counterpoint in that ministry.  Shortly after we were married we moved to East Lansing, Michigan to be trained at the Navigator training center there to be collegiate staff.

Two years later we moved with the director of the training center to Knoxville to help him start the training center at the University of Tennessee.  Our first child was born there.  I had the first few of seven sinus surgeries there.  The Air Force called and asked if I wanted to come back and fly tankers; I said no.

I could go on, we were at another campus, had two more kids there.  I took at ThM at Dallas Seminary, where we had our fourth child.  I have been to Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago (multiple times), Morocco (multiple times), Nepal, Cameroon, and Togo.  We are pursuing opportunities in other African countries, and I have been asked to consider a return trip to Nepal…

My kids are all married.  They all, but the youngest, have at least one child, the youngest has a dog.  One of my son’s wife passed away several months after she had her child.  My parents and my wife’s parents have all gone home to be with the Lord; we buried her father last Sunday.

When I reflect on this, nothing has really turned out as planned.  In the process of this journey thus far, my wife and I have encountered and been in various depths of relationships with hundreds if not thousands of people.

It is impossible, or perhaps better, impractical to measure the impact we have had.  We had hopes, plans, vision, but those all changed.

At some level, some significant level, it feels as if we are pebbles that have been cast into a pond.  The impact creates ripples.  We do not see how far those ripples spread.  We do not see the impact or result of the ripples.  In a real sense we didn’t cause the ripples.  The one who cast us into the pond did.

Our responsibility is to trust and abide in the one who cast us into the pond.  There are days that that is easier than others.

I’m not an astronaut, I’m a pebble…