Recently I spent several hours at a place near and dear to my heart: Olivet Nazarene University. I began my journey at Olivet on a warm August day in 1974, not just a journey to receive a college education, but a journey that has included that and so much more. Fast forward 41 years and this place still is a central part of my life. My recent visit was to encourage a group of teenagers from the Indianapolis area as they exhibited their talents, competed individually and in teams for a regional gathering that has groups from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana competing as well. There is never a time while on campus that I do not meet new friends and reconnect with old friends as well.
Friday evening as I walked around campus, I passed two dormitories where I lived in the 1970s, I walked past a few building where I took classes, the library where I studied (yes I did study) the gym where I attended the college basketball games, the building where I ate my meals and many other places that brought back a host of memories. So many things happened there that have served as mile markers along the path of my life: I met my future wife, I heard from the Lord and committed to entering the ministry. I met friends who have stuck by me throughout the years, received a great education and the door of opportunity has oftentimes swung open as the result of one simple decision, to attend Olivet Nazarene University.
The door of decision often swings on small hinges. Nearly everything that has happened in my life over the years has been the result of a simple decision, one that upon first glance seems to not be very profound. The impact of that choice still ripples through my life to this very moment. A week ago I participated in graduation weekend. This was my 22nd year to be a member of the board of trustees! As I look into the faces of the young people both at graduation and at Celebrate Life this weekend, I breathe a prayer that God will help them to make the same kind of decision I made 41 years ago. A decision that at the time I had no idea how far-reaching the impact would be. Today I want to say that I am a debtor to this college in Bourbonnais Illinois and as the school’s alma mater says: “for here I learned to know of truth and truth will set you free…though life may lead us far apart I still revere you in my heart.”
Too much time it seems to me is spent by recounting what is wrong, I felt the need today to give honor and give thanks to God for all He has done in my life, and one of the ways He has blessed me is by allowing Olivet Nazarene University to be such a major influence.
Thank you Olivet Nazarene University