IMG_4312Excitement and trepidation mix together every year at this time of the year.  It is the beginning of a new school year.  No it is not grammar school or high school or even college.  For me it is graduate school.

I am a professor at one of the finest seminaries in the world, Dallas Theological Seminary.  Eons ago I graduated from this splendid institution.  Now I am privileged to be on the faculty.

This scenario is a God-only kind of story.  Some marvel at the miracle of crossing the Red Sea or the leper being cleansed or the raising of Lazarus as stunning miracles.  I understand those, however, God did a customized miracle just for me.

From a shy and uncertain background I was blessed with remarkable touches by God.  He brought me to this pinnacle of a career that still has me shaking my head.  He pushed me into leadership and frightened me into working hard to achieve academic standing just for a position like this.

In my youth I never would have thought that I would make a living speaking before crowds of people.  My struggles through hours of studying and writing never prepared me to see the letters Ph.D. after my name.  Throughout my years of education I read countless books, never thinking that one day a number of books would have my name on them as the author.

God is a miracle maker not of just great events but transforming unassuming, invisible, average people into useful tools for the building up of His Kingdom.  He smiles down on undeserving people and lifts them up.  The only credit for those generous moments is His glory.

My life refreshes itself every time a new academic year begins.  In my mind and soul I rehearse the position of privilege that He has given me to serve Him.  The student’s faces are all new but the story that each share is familiar.

God took very average people, forgave their sins and transformed them into channels where His grace could be spread to others.  In our classrooms these specially called men and women are preparing to serve the lives of others.  My treat is to teach them in the field of my professional expertise, Pastoral Ministries.

The first day of class, back to school, is filled with syllabus shock, deadline due dates and tons of reading.  They will be overwhelmed but it is my joy to not just teach but guide them through the requirements. It is back to school and I am humbled to be here and loving every minute of it.

photo credit: brucefong photography