Throughout our lives there are those few rare people we will meet that will impact our lives, and because of them, we are forever changed. My Old Testament Survey professor, has been one of those people in my life.
His Biblical and theological knowledge is truly remarkable. His studies included: Lubbock Christian University, B.A.; and Dallas Baptist University, M.D.
I believe that my professor is a living testimony of happiness defined. His life illustrates that happiness can be experienced regardless of our circumstances. Simply because it doesn’t come from what you have rather it comes from ‘Who you know…The LORD.’
The simplicity of putting our faith in Christ alone, by growing in our relationship to Him…is all we need. Faith in Christ is enough!
During an interview with him he shared with me that it wasn’t until in his later high school years when he was saved. “My view of God back then was this authoritative God, because I listened to other’s theology. Those who presented to me a God that was very harsh and judgmental.”
He then openly shared a defining moment in his life that occurred in his late twenties. “It was during my divorce, that certain scriptures really began to speak to me.”
“Such as the Hosea 4:6 or John 4 is another good example. The Hosea 4:6 one in particular really spoke to me: “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because
you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children”(NIV Bible).
“I began to realize what God was actually saying in that passage. He wasn’t saying that it was because His people were actually lacking of knowledge, but rather the knowledge of Him that can only be experienced in a personal a relationship with Him.”
“I began to see that Christianity is more about knowing God personally, rather than just knowing about God. That it is not rules, it is a relationship!”
I asked him, if after this new revelation has his life changed in any way?
He stated: “Because of my new found relationship I was developing with God, my life has changed. My motives changed. It changed the way I lived my life. For me, it was always living by rules before that. It was all about me thinking I had to do this and don’t do that.”
“Prior to that experience, my walk with God had been strictly just rules, not a relationship. It was legalism.”
“It also changed why I did things. I would do it simply because of who He is. Because I realized that in life, we have a part of it and in it.”
When I asked him if there was a lesson he learned as a result, he commented: “Living my life from then on. It became opportunities for me to do, rather than requirements to meet. Instead of just doing things because it was the right thing to do now, it was because I wanted to do them for Him. It was purely motivational, my motives became completely different.”
Last November, the doctor said to him the few heart wrenching words that few of us ever want to hear: “You have cancer.”
Because of his faith, he saw it from an entirely different perspective: “When I was initially diagnosed with cancer that was the final step of my transformation. Of everything I had gone through up till that point in time in my life. I wish everyone could be where I was, when I was told I would only have 6 more months to live. Because it made me realize what life is supposed to be about, the things that truly matter!”
“However, there was one thing that I remember back then. It was a song that Tim McGraw did. I had never even listened to that song before. But, I did know what the message was: ‘To live like you are dying every day of your life. Live like this body is temporary.’” (Singer, Tim McGraw)
“That song helped me to remember, to live like this body of mine is temporary.”
Because it made me realize that our life is really only but a dream, only to discover that you’ll wake up some day.
“Because of it I am not afraid to die anymore. It took away the fear of dying for me.”
“The dying is actually the easiest part of it all. The hardest part is saying goodbye. Saying Good bye to the ones you love and care about.”
My professor sees everyday as a gift. He sees it as just another opportunity given to him, to be able to Love and serve the Lord!
I was humbly reminded after my interview with my professor, how everything in life is temporary! Eventually we all end up in “the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return” (NIV Bible, Eccl 3:20).
In reality, all we have is today, and we will never get this day back again. Our tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Embrace this thing called life!
Barker, ed. Kenneth L. New International Study Bible. Ed. Barker. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008 update. Print.
McGraw, Tim. Country Singer.