Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Those Life-Changing Moments That Seem So Routine

Today the Discover the Word team at Radio Bible Class discussed those routine moments that hindsight reveals to be significant.

The discussion prompted me to consider which routine moments in my life turned out to be propitious.

1) A day at Waynedale Park as a kid brought me into the Missionary Church.

Attending a small church with where my brother and I made up 50-67% of the Sunday School's elementary dept., my parents were considering getting us involved in another church on non-Sunday mornings. Somehow--and here's where the details are foggy--we connected with Avalon Missionary and their AWANA program at Waynedale Park. We got involved in AWANA, which met at Avalon. Later, I entered the youth group, my family started attending Sunday night services, etc., etc.

Now I am a pastor in the Missionary Church. My home church being an independent church, the Missionary Church is the only denomination I've ever belonged to.

2) At the beginning of a required speech course in college, I, the off-campus student, was shyly passive while students I didn't know partnered up for introduction speeches. At some point a confident freshman recognized my dilemma, took pity on me, and offered to be my partner. Names being fundamental to the whole introduction thing, I heard hers for the first time: Sara Inniger.

Two years later I asked her to be my partner for life.

3) A "chance" encounter at a big box store in Fort Wayne first brought the possibility of Northside Missionary Church into my path. My mom ran into Dr. Dave Biberstine there, one of my former college professors. When asked how I was doing, Mom reported I was looking for a place to do my internship. Dr. Biberstine told her Harvester and Northside were looking. She told me, and I told Sara's dad, who saw Pat (Northside) at monthly lunches. Pat was interested. On Easter Sunday 1995, I got a resume and cover letter together.

4) A weird interview and a slow response kept me aimed at Northside.

Three possibilities were before me: an internship at Village Church of Gurnee, where we were attending; an internship and position at Northside; and an internship and position at Trinity Missionary in Petoskey, MI. Of the 3, my pick was Trinity.

On May 9, 1995, we met with Trinity's pastor, and we came away feeling the interview didn't go well. Two days later, Todd at Village Church told me Village would only take me on as a part-time intern.

The next day, May 12, we met with Pat and Ginny Ryan (and Pat's mom) on the south side of Chicago for 3 hours. Pat practically offered me the position. Five days later, I called him and told him I was definitely interested. Two days after that, May 19, we met with the Board, received an offer, and accepted it.

Not long after that, I received a letter from Trinity's pastor declaring their desire to pursue further the possibility of my service at Trinity. Had that letter come earlier, would I have so eagerly pursued Northside?

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